Model Shop - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Model Shop Reviews

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Antonius Block
Super Reviewer
½ July 28, 2017
In a word, ugh. Don't waste your time with this film. It has a low-budget, indie feel to it, which could have been a big positive, but the acting is shockingly bad. Gary Lockwood is wooden and Alexandra Hay is awful, and on top of that, the script is sleepy and uninspired. The soundtrack and brief appearance from the band Spirit is as well. There is a moment at which Lockwood gets a draft notice that feels real and of interest, bringing back a difficult period in America, but it's quickly snuffed by the lethargy of Lockwood's attraction to a model (Anouk Aimée) who can be paid to pose for risqué photos. It's quite tedious to see Lockwood slowly tooling around in his convertible in scene after scene, though it is of some interest to see street scenes in 1960's Los Angeles, and that's the best thing the film has going for it. Otherwise, director Jacques Demy even finds a way to make scenes with two beautiful stars, Aimée and Lockwood, boring. Whew.
August 11, 2014
The first English-language Godard film I've seen and it's a spiritual sequel to Lola... Lola returns as an older lady, still played by Anouk Aimée, now living in America! Not as good as Lola though. The film is actually pretty basic. The lead guy is kind of a creep, he pursues the model pretty hard and they kinda end up in a friendship / brief affair and an sudden, dissatisfying ending. I guess that's life, though...
May 3, 2014
Really not a bad movie. Captures the cultural quandary of the late 60's: should I pursue my dream right or must I "pay my dues" and "sell out"? The protagonists refuses the latter and loses everything while his friends seem to have arrived at a comfortable compromise. An iterating example of French New Wave sensibility set in L.A. in '68. Featured in Season 7, Episode 3 of Mad Men when Don Draper, currently out of work, watches the film mid-day in a nearly deserted movie house in Manhattan, obviously wondering if he's watching his fate unfold on the screen.ovie
January 22, 2014
Largely boring film about Gary Lockwood's slacker type character following a woman around LA and avoiding getting his car repossessed, then we eventually find out that his ennui is likely because he's been drafted, not because he's a self-involved asshole who'd rather chase new tail than spend time with his current girlfriend.

It's interesting on some levels for the vintage LA footage, but little else.
Super Reviewer
December 16, 2011
See Flixster's plot synopsis? It pretty much covers the whole film. That one sentence is practically a "spoiler."

"Model Shop" (no "The" in front) is one of those self-consciously flat, empty films where nothing much happens and the dominant characters all seem blank, vacant and aimless. For reference points, think Antonioni, "Five Easy Pieces" (a far superior film) and, more recently, perhaps "Lost in Translation." Lead actor Gary Lockwood (who also appeared in "2001: A Space Odyssey" the same year) gives a fairly dull performance, even if he's *supposed* to be dull, and one learns frustratingly little about his inner life or why he sabotages himself with poor decisions. The film has none of the sparkling, cinematic magic found in more fanciful Demy works like "The Umbrellas of Cherbourg" and "Donkey Skin" and, really, the best reason to sit through the (lack of) action is probably the realistic look at everyday, late-'60s Los Angeles as Lockwood's character drives around the sunny haze of the city.

Respected L.A. rock band Spirit recorded some nice bits of jazzy score for the film, and briefly appear in one scene as themselves. One member (keyboardist John Locke?) even tries some acting in a short scene with Lockwood. Thankfully, the script never sinks into the dated "Far out, man...I need bread to buy some grass"-type dialogue which one might expect from a "Hollywood youth in the '60s" flick. This is *not* a story about hippies -- the protagonist is educated and relatively clean-cut, and aims to be an architect someday.

Favorite comic detail: The unmentioned agony of the main couple living directly next to a noisy oil rig.
½ May 18, 2011
Devoid of a compelling story, interesting characters, and not a particularly interesting look at Los Angeles in the late-60s. Fraught with New Wave conventions (maybe the inane dialogue would have sounded more profound in French) even the acting, cinematography, and music are relentlessly bland. If there's a deeper meaning to all this, it was lost on me.
Super Reviewer
November 16, 2010
"The Model Shop" starts with George(Gary Lockwood) and Gloria(Alexandra Hay) being rudely awakened by a knock on the door from a repo man wanting to repossess his car. George stalls long enough to get an extension through the end of business but his girlfriend has seen enough, wanting a commitment and him to get a job. An architect by trade, he quit his lob in search of something meaningful to do with his life which is not that easy. On the other hand, finding the $100 necessary to keep his car is not that difficult, giving him enough time to follow an older woman(Anouk Aimee).

While "The Model Shop" may have the flattest line readings on record, it still stands on its own as a curio from a different time. Viewing Los Angeles from an outsider's perspective, writer-director Jacques Demy sees an automobile culture, each car being a status item with George not being able to afford his. That does not really matter much with the draft hanging over him, not allowing him much thought for the future. Come to think of it, we're not really interested in his future; it is Lola's, continuing her story from a previous film of Demy's.
December 28, 2008
Demy the american way, interrestng and a little bit boring.
½ April 23, 2008
A very poetic AND boring beginning (never thought petrol wells could be so closed to habitations) but when Lola (Anouk Aimee) apears, everything is lightned up. She is the heart of the movie, and the city of Los Angeles is its body. The model shop tells us stories about a part of America which no longer exist : hippies, Vietnam War, model shop...
November 13, 2007
It's an interesting film and to a certain extent "Model Shop" is to Jacques Demy's career as "Zabriskie Point" was to Antonioni's -- i.e. a commercially unsuccessful attempt to transfer his themes to an American setting. It's fair to say Demy's aims are less grandiose than Antonioni's, but Demy's film essays the same banality of landscape and affectlessness, as Gary Lockwood drifts listessly about, only realising what he wants too late. It manages to cram in references to many of Demy's previous films and characters, with an ending even more bittersweet than "Umbrellas of Cherbourg".
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