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Overall Rating

Awesome: 30.77%
Worth A Look: 3.85%
Just Average57.69%
Pretty Crappy: 0%
Sucks: 7.69%

3 reviews, 8 user ratings

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by iF Magazine

"A joyous screwball affair that lives up to its name!"
5 stars

Good fun. What's not to like in this free-spirited romp between gorgeous Veronica, aka Ron (Kathleen Robertson), Abel (Johnathon Schaech) and Zed (Matt Keesler)? "I always thought Three's Company was really progressive for its time," Veronica tells her blue-haired gal pal Mike (Kelly MacDonald, TRAINSPOTTING). She's living the dream. Veronica has her hands full with dark, brooding Abel and blond, punk-dude Zed. What started as honestly dating the two babes becomes a complicated, literal menage a trois as the three shack up together.

At heart Ron is a small-town girl trying to make it big in L.A. (yup, a struggling actress) and escape her mom's fate of single parenthood/poverty. Although the three have a functional if tense household, Ron holds down crappy jobs while Abel tries to make it as a novelist/free-lance critic and Zed takes up couch space when not playing drums in a punk band. Both boys are low on responsibility but big on love for V, enough to stomach the strange arrangement. But when Veronica lands a TV movie, things change fast. Smooth director Ernest (Eric Mobius) is a settled sugar daddy at 27 and tries to win her over with kindness and psycho babble.

Enter a pregnancy. Now she's between two lummox hunks and a Real Man, a grown-up with a platinum card who wants to take her away from it all, providing for her and the baby no matter what. What will she choose?

In between wisecracks and shrill screams from Mike (who nearly steals the show, in fine form since getting down with Ewan McGreggor), a hormonal Ron tries to sort out her life. We're in a whirly fantasy L.A., not too recognizable but a hell of a lotta fun. It's a place where 22-year-old temps live alone in day-glo lofts, where fur phones, smiley-face mugs and strange little dogs in sweaters rule. The bubbly techno soundtrack keeps us happy, along with the vibrant over-saturated colors, deep blues, barbie-doll pink. Robertson looks ravishing frame by frame, her ruby lips perfect even in moments of utmost crisis. The boys are all abs and glands, what more could a girl want?

Araki has come of age with SPLENDOR, a real departure from his flat, gritty, graphic films of the past, notably THE DOOM GENERATION. Instead of Nazi-castrator-gay bashers, we have a frothy world where the biggest problem is which hunk Ron should be with. The best device is Zed and Abel, despite their constant fighting, bonding completely to win back Ron: "Please come back to us!" they clamor as one. As with most of Araki's standard-bending, we come to see the unusual as normal, a family values three-way. Araki gets a lot of physical humor out of the two-man-as one-force dynamic.

A slick, gilded movie with a woman on top, SPLENDOR is an enjoyable screwball comedy that pretty much lives up to its name.-- Etana Jacobson

link directly to this review at http://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=2219&reviewer=119
originally posted: 02/22/01 23:58:52
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User Comments

12/31/03 Charles Tatum Change of pace for Araki is still not great 3 stars
9/03/03 Kyle Okay, so the 3 leads are major eye candy, but the movie is pretty abysmal. 3 stars
4/12/03 Jack Sommersby BOOOOOOOORING!!!! What a letdown after the phenomenal "The Doom Generation"! 1 stars
6/19/01 Abel Way better than Araki's depressing trash shit Teen Angst trilogy. Kathleen, I love you! 5 stars
3/15/01 Rodney Dinkler Kathleen Robertson is INCREDIBLE film is - 5 stars
2/20/01 Rocket Boy Lacking the mocking tone of his other films, Splendor is Araki's worst 1 stars
10/25/99 Kat I enjoyed it right up until the end where it ends quite flat. 4 stars
9/18/99 Mr Showbiz Araki brings his trademark flair to this romance, but his leads have no romantic chemistry. 3 stars
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  17-Sep-1999 (R)
  DVD: 23-Nov-1999


  17-Nov-1999 (MA)

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