Camille (Sienna Miller) is unconditionally in love with ex-con Silas Parker (James Franco) and believes that love, marriage and their honeymoon will change his inconsiderate and selfish ways. But when the two embark on Camille's fantasy honeymoon, a trip to Niagara Falls, tragedy strikes, when they discover that true love can salvage even the most seemingly ill fated of relationships.
Review by Louise Keller:
A surprisingly touching black comedy with a twist, this love story starts in earnest after the bride is dead. Yes, dead. You read it correctly. But being dead is not enough reason to stop the honeymoon and it's credit to Sienna Miller and James Franco in the central roles to keep the premise credible as long as it does. The first hour in which we get an insight into the volatile relationship between Camille and Silas holds well but there's a dip in last half hour, when the film struggles before it finds its resolution. This impossible love story has plenty of charm as well as bizarre and often farcical situations. We are able to make that leap of faith mostly because the characters are grounded in reality.
When we first meet Miller's Camille, she is an air-head chatterbox blonde madly in love with her bad-boy boyfriend Silas (Franco). She is living in her own world, oblivious to the fact Silas may not feel the same way about her. For Silas, Camille is his ticket to freedom; her Uncle Raymond (Scott Glenn), who happens to be the town sheriff, has let him out of jail in order to marry his niece. This is the wedding of her dreams and for Camille, who looks lovely in her traditional white gown, nothing will stop her happiness. Next stop Niagara Falls, Camille's dream honeymoon destination and the newlyweds set off on his motorbike for the long road trip. But her non-stop harmless chatter irks Silas and there's a poignantly funny scene when they have a major confrontation in a roadside diner. That is where they meet David Carradine's colourful Cowboy Bob, who has a team of pastel-painted rodeo horses.
What happens next and the way it is revealed is crucial to the film's success and director Gregory Mackenzie directs this aspect of Nick Pustav's script with great sensitivity. 'Every marriage has its problems in the first couple of years; yours just happen to be in the first couple of hours,' Uncle Raymond had said. Never a truer word has been spoken. There's an accident, things become peculiar, yet Mackenzie cleverly keeps his characters real as Silas discovers there is something strange about his bride. Camille is oblivious to her plight. The humour turns black as Camille starts noticing her decaying body starts to smell. 'You sure are an unusual couple,' Cowboy Bob comments.
This all happens early in the film and there is a long way to go. Fortunately the film doesn't rely solely on its novelty but keeps its poetic and romantic notions alive throughout. It's a road movie, a black comedy and a romance. It's unusual alright and I like the poetic ending which arrives unexpectedly, just when you wonder how this crazy premise can possibly end.
Published January 22, 2009
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CAMILLE: DVD (M)
CAST: Sienna Miller, James Franco, David Carradine
PRODUCER: Daniel Grodnik, Gregory Mackenzie, Steve Markoff, Bruce McNall, Albert S. Ruddy, Brett Walsh
DIRECTOR: Gregory Mackenzie
SCRIPT: Nick PUstay
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Sharone Meir
EDITOR: Roger Bondelli
MUSIC: Mark Mancina
PRODUCTION DESIGN: Phillip Barker
RUNNING TIME: 94 minutes
PRESENTATION: 16: 9
SPECIAL FEATURES: None
DVD DISTRIBUTOR: Universal
DVD RELEASE: January 8, 2009