The Canyons (Paul Schrader, 2013)


The only reason I watched this was out of curiosity. Mainly, I wanted to see Lindsay Lohan’s acting. Also, the movie was controversial and this intrigued me. It looked like a bad idea but there was always a probability of it being a surprise. Once I saw the trailer I figured out how bad it would be. But I still watched it.

The Canyons is probably the worst 2013 film I’ve seen this year and I saw Hansel & Gretel, which was just stupid, over-the-top fun, and Texas Chainsaw 3D, which was very bad, but I had fun laughing at it. This one tries to be a serious  movie and this is why I hate it. This tale of fame, fortune and sex is a complete mess. The story was so boring. It is set in L.A. in the film industry. This guy named Christian, played by porn star James Deen, finances a Z-grade horror movie. His girlfriend is Tara, played by Lindsay Lohan. They are both cheating on each other ’cause they are horrible people. These two also engage in some weird sex stuff. They invite people over to have sex with them. I guess this is a thing people like them do.


The plot itself isn’t much. It revolves around the relationships these two have. Tara has an affair with Ryan, who plays the lead in the film Christian finances. He is the boyfriend of Christian’s assistant. Everyone sleeps with almost everyone. Christian starts spying on Tara once he suspects she is cheating. Also, there is a murder. A total unnecessary one. Laughable scene actually. The way it played out was just pathetic.
It shows a cruel but true face of show business. Some people have talent and some people don’t. Only that those talentless ones just don’t seen to figure this out. There are a lot of bad actors out there, but not all of them can make it. Hollywood is such a sad and crazy place.


The performances were horrible. I didn’t like James Deen’s acting at all and how we tried to stay arrogant all the time. I found it forced and not believable at all. Maybe he got bad advice from the director. Actually, I think all of them did. The entire cast, besides Lohan, was soulless. Lindsay Lohan has some experience on the screen. I think she figured out a bit of her badly written character, a thing that probably helped in her portrayal. Tara doesn’t do much. All she does is go shopping, go out, to the gym and make her boyfriend’s fantasies come true. Sadly not a very interesting character. Lohan isn’t as bad as they say she is, she didn’t have much to work with, but I can’t say she gave it all on screen. It was good to see her try, though. Maybe with a well written character she’ll have a shot at a good performance. Regarding the sex scenes, it was sad to see her in them. Besides the weird foursome, there was another scene with her at the start of a threesome which was was heartbreaking. It was like the beginning of a porn scene. How the mighty have fallen. I felt really sorry for her.


Regarding the other actors, they were bad. The guy who played Ryan was very, very bad. So inexpressive. The rest were just as horrible. Maybe it wasn’t all their fault. The dialogue was really badly written and so were the characters.
I felt the director Paul Schrader pretended to make the film something that it’s not. He aimed for a neo-noir thriller about the sadness and falseness of Hollywood, with its use of synth-y soundtrack and neon lighted shots. Instead he made it a badly written, boring and pretentious story with badly acted characters. The visuals weren’t good either.
It’s a very bad film. I don’t recommend wasting time and money with this garbage. Too bad it ended with such a great song. Such a poorly made film.



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