Yes, it’s true. Feast of Love, the Hollywood drama starring Greg Kinnear and Morgan Freeman, takes place in Portland. And as you might have heard, the creators of Feast of Love do not understand the lifestyle or geography of our city.
Yes, it’s true. Feast of Love, the Hollywood drama starring Greg Kinnear and Morgan Freeman, takes place in Portland.
And as you might have heard, the creators of Feast of Love do not understand the lifestyle or geography of our city. Even more annoyingly, they don’t understand basic filmmaking standards such as plot, character development and cinematography. It seems the only thing the filmmakers understand about audiences is that they love to see naked actresses. This film gives us enough bare flesh to propel a month of updates on www.mrskin.com.
Freeman stars in and narrates (of course) this straight-to-DVD-quality movie about love and loss. Well, that’s what the film wants to be about, but it ultimately fails. For most of the movie, characters stare deeply into each other’s eyes and proclaim their love. But there’s no reason for us to believe that the love is organic. There are no scenes that show us this love in action (except for the “reverse cowgirl” type of action), so the audience has to take it on faith.
Here’s my rendition of a standard scene in Feast of Love:
(Young couple who just met)
Man: I hope someday to have kids.Woman: I do too.Man: I love you.Woman: No, I love you.
(Cue fucking scene #9)
It’s true we are all guilty of talking like that in bed with our partners, but real humans don’t speak in poetry. It’s the screenwriter’s job to give us interesting dialogue that doesn’t mirror how we boring people talk.
The movie was based on a novel by Charles Baxter and apparently has shades of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. I don’t know about that, because I’ve read neither.
I do know that the heavy-handed plot in Feast of Love isn’t as good as those supposed “inspirations.” It couldn’t be. The film is a series of cheating spouses, young “love” romances and good old-fashioned Morgan Freeman wisdom. In other words, the plot is tired and boring.
Freeman’s character, Harry Stevenson, is supposed to be a former Portland State professor with a very nice house. Apparently, PSU paid him so well that he could afford such nice digs and never have to take a second job. As if Portland State would ever pay its professors a comfortable living salary.
The film is full of weird location shifts and mistakes about Portland life. Here are a few:
1. Characters are shown reading the Portland Tribune‘s “Sustainable Life” section. No one reads the Tribune except Tribune staffers and the homeless. It does appear that for a split second one background character is reading The Vanguard. That’s one of the few things the film got right: People do love The Vanguard (ha!).
2. Portland is presented as a college town where you can walk from a nice upscale residential neighborhood right onto campus. Oh, and Reed College stands in for Portland State. What, are we not good enough to play ourselves in this shitty failure of a film?
3. A climactic scene takes place after a Vikings football game at, get this, “PSU Park,” which is magically right on campus. A dying character can’t get to a hospital because (drum roll, please) the streets are packed with celebrating Vikings fans. Two mistakes in one: the first assuming that the Vikings have fans and the second that they actually win games.
4. Most of the characters, if they aren’t idiots, are either abusive, cheaters, junkies or sluts…well, maybe they did get a few things about Portland right.
So should you pay to see Feast of Love? No. Should you watch it when it’s on cable? No.
But when it plays tomorrow at Fifth Avenue Cinema at 6 p.m., you should. We all should. This film could be the next Rocky Horror Picture Show for the Portland State crowd. Go to the screening and laugh and yell at the screen. There might not ever be a really good film that features PSU, but at least we can laugh at the bad ones together.
Feast of Love plays tomorrow at 6 p.m. at Fifth Avenue Cinema. It is free with a PSU ID.