Creative Control

In the growing field of movies dealing with a theme of emotional dependence on computers, avatars, and virtual reality, writer-director-male lead Benjamin Dickinson gets off to a good start with an interesting premise and some good humor. As futuristic ad man David, living in a glass-and-titanium world where a single antique cannot possibly breathe, he prefers to engage in foreplay with an avatar of his best-friend’s girl Sophie (Alexia Rasmussen) than do sack time with his gorgeous live-in Juliette (Nora Zehetner). To each his own, we guess. While we may be fascinated by the idea of augmenting our lives with realizing our most-hidden fantasies through technology (“Her” did it so very well), Dickinson needed someone to tell him your lead character has no redeeming qualities. Hey, even a smile would have helped put a layer of humanity on this creep, who alternately abuses his girlfriend emotionally or remains inaccessible to her. And yes, he manages to betray his best friend a couple times, once purely vindictively. It is as if he feels if he can’t be happy, he’ll make sure no one else close to him is either. Unless we get invested in the protagonist of a story and his/her dilemmas, either through our caring or through fascination, the seductive qualities of its premise alone will not carry a film. That’s what happened here.

– Mal Karman

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