Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

You have to admire writer / director Sebastian Gutierrez if for no other reason than the man is married to Carla Gugino and while being married to anybody longer than two weeks has its challenges, believe me, actually courting Carla Gugino had to have been a lot of fun. Then there’s the fact that Mr. Gutierrez is a film director and I don’t think there’s anybody who is working as a film director that doesn’t want to be a film director so that’s good job to have. Now… whether or not Sebastian Gutierrez is a good film director is up for debate. This leads us to Mr. Gutierrez’s film, starring his wife Carla Gugino, ‘Women in Trouble’ which is basically a movie about a bunch of beautiful women going through numerous issues. Mr. Gutierrez is also a screenwriter, and he wrote this movie in addition to directing it, a movie about women’s issues. Can the guy who wrote ‘Snakes on a Plane’ turn around and write a coherent movie about women and their various issues? No, apparently, he cannot.

Ms. Gugino is Electra Luxx, one of the hottest porn stars on the planet which is obvious considering she has the best selling detached plastic vagina on the market. I actually had to look that up to see if such a thing actually exists or did the screenwriter just make that up. It’s real… and we are going let it go at that, no commentary needed. Electra has just found out she’s pregnant, followed by getting stuck in an elevator at her gyno’s office with the high strung Doris (Connie Britton). Electra, as it turns out, has been knocked up by rock star Nick Chapel (Josh Brolin) who at this time in the universe is currently joining the mile high club with Cora the Air Waitress (Marley Shelton).

Electra is a porn mentor of sorts to Holly Rocket (Adrianne Palicki) who has serious difficulty in performing the act of cunninglingus, a problem which I think would make it difficult to last in that industry, but the dumb blonde and queen of malapropisms is plenty hot. There are reasons why Holly can’t give decent head, but we are not going to even begin to get into that. Holly has a best friend in Bambi (Emannuelle Chirqui), who I believe is a prostitute, who has called her best friend to help her on a tag team gig. Now I’m not one for prostitutes but a tag team with Adriane Palicki and Emannuelle Chriqui did have me wondering exactly how much that would set you back.

Circumstance leads Holly and Bambi meeting Maxine the Psychologist (Sarah Clarke) who is extremely distraught because her husband is poking one of her clients, this client by chance happening to be the sister of the lady that Electra is stuck in the elevator with. There’s also a weird but wise little girl (Isabella Gutierrez) who is loosely connected to most everybody we’ve met to this point kind of stitching it all of this together. Ms. Gutierrez’s bio claims her to be forty years old. No Freaking Way.

Anyway this movie ‘Women in Trouble’, at least as far as I can tell, has no real plot that I can see and for the most part opens a voyeuristic window and allows the audience to peer into the various lives of these conflicted women. On one hand it does work mainly because this film is very well acted by the various women cast in this film, particularly Carla Gugino’s Electra Luxx and Sarah Clarke’s emotionally damaged therapist. Even some of the dialog that Gutierrez has written for his characters to bounce off of each other works in his film, but the thing about this is that the scenes that work the best are the scenes the screenwriter has written that actually involve a man. For instance when Maxine the Psychologist was confronting her husband, played by Simon Baker, about how his infidelities were affecting her, that felt authentic and there was so power their scenes together. Or when Josh Brolin’s slimy British rocker was running his game on the Air Waitress, which while plenty silly, was still a fairly accurate representation of man trying to run his game on a woman and it felt real in addition to being pretty funny. Joseph Gordon-Levitt shows up post credits as an idiot video blogger was also provided us with a very funny, well written completely ridiculous scene.

Ah, but this is movie about women in trouble and their issues and mostly consists of women relating to each other in regard to these various issues. There were times while watching this movie and listening to some of the stuff exiting out of the mouths of these women that actually took me away from the movie had me thinking, ‘Did this cat really write this for these characters to say’? Some of the stuff falling out of the mouths of these characters eventually had me thinking this was supposed to be spoof or a parody, but I don’t think that was the case. Considering that there was no real plot in this movie, unless the plot was hoping the character of Holly will eventually learn how to eat pussy properly, the dialog in this movie was everything. That’s too bad for this movie.

It is possible that the Gutierrez was exploring a view of women from a man’s perspective in which case Sebastian Gutierrez’s view of women is a little screwed up. More accurately, however, chances are my man probably just can’t write from a woman’s perspective. I know the man can write… Samuel L. yelling ‘I’m sick and tired of these mother f**king snakes on this mother f**king plane’? That’s brilliant. This not so much. I’m sure a man, somewhere, can write effectively from a woman’s point of view just like I’m sure a woman could pen a movie from a man’s point of view. ‘Women in Trouble’ just isn’t that movie.

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