If you’re looking for a slasher that offers something remarkably different and groundbreaking, you probably want to avoid All the Boys Love Mandy Lane. That said, if you’re looking for one tricky, enigma of a film, this one may hit a sweet spot. The film feels like one masve contradiction stacked upon another masve contradiction, decorated with every cliché in the book… but it also feels, strangely enough, as though it may all be intentional.
What makes this one interesting is that, the proverbial wink at the camera has been completely omitted, although I’d swear up and down that scribe Jacob Forman and director Jonathan Levine know exactly what they’re doing, and they seem to enjoy poking fun at all of the typical expectations that come fixed to a genre piece. But again, there’s absolutely no indicator delivered to the viewer that says “we get it, we’re having fun, you should too!” It makes for an interesting arc, especially as the film progresses and the abundance of predictable scenarios begin to dwindle giving way to the big reveal that, midway through the picture begins to look like a prospective concluon.
There are some great elements to the film, and I’m not certain I’m projecting that thought process quite clearly enough at this point. The film is remarkably stylish; there are some wonderful angles employed and some of the natural lighting is just mesmerizing. As a whole the film feels like a ridiculously well assembled 80’s picture; a quality that taps into nostalgia while remaining true to contemporary application. Aesthetically, All the Boys Love Mandy Lane is just as gorgeous as Amber Heard.
Speaking of Heard, she does a fine job leading this cast, portraying the titular character, and she’s got some great support from a handful of unfamiliar faces. Among those who truly shine in this group are Luke Grimes, who portrays the selfish prick, Jake and Michael Welch, who looks like he just stumbled off the Columbine campus, and I mean that not in an insentive manner, but an honest one; the damn kid is creepy as hell.
The crux of the story mirrors every slasher you’ve ever seen, to an extent. Someone is wronged during a raucous gathering in the film’s opening frames. We experience a little fast forward effect, where, in the future, kids tied to the original incident are offed in an assortment of ways. All the Boys throws a bit of a twist into the typical tale, and that certainly saves the picture from disaster, and calls back to the general conundrum of the film that I previously mentioned (which I really can’t get too into without spoiling the entire flick). I’ll say this: I do believe Levine and Forman intended to tease with all the wildly over-the-top uber formulaic arrangements. I just wished they’d established a key point in which the viewer is able to fully grasp that; as it is, I can see the systematic viewer chalking it all up to laziness, and I’m having trouble buying into that notion condering how refined the rest of the picture is.
I’m still puzzled at the snubbing this film has received: it’s yet to earn a US release, be it straight to DVD or limited theatrical, and all the Hollywood buzz that once surrounded the film has died down conderably over the last few years. But, this is a film that should be seen: it is exceptionally fun, on many levels. First, who’s really going to complain about gazing at Amber Heard for 90 minutes (even though you can still spot the teenage youth in her face, the film is that old)? Toss in the pleasure of watching some blood spray, listening to a kick ass soundtrack, and getting a laugh out of the fact that every ngle male to step into frame at any point in this film is obnoxiously obsessed with Mandy Lane, I mean to the point in which a drinking game could manufactured just around the advances made on this young cutie; it’s outlandish, and hilarious if you ask me.
All The Boys Love Mandy Lane isn’t the super success early reviews often depicted, but it’s a fun movie that feels rather clever in spots, whether intentional or not. If you can get your hands on a copy, I recommend checking it out, it’s good for some laughs and beer consumption.