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kenmorefield

#Roxy (2018)

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There is a scene fairly early in #Roxy, a Clueless-inspired high-school take on Cyrano de Bergerac, where Cyrus (Jake Short) hijacks the scoreboard and sound system at the high school pep rally and threatens to post nude pictures of his jock nemesis unless he quits the team. He recites the antagonist's failing grades and generally tries to humiliate him. The school, including his muse, Roxy, laugh and chant "show the pic! show the pic!" even after the football player runs off stage in embarrassment.

It is not as though a film, especially a comedy, can never recover from a misfire. Cyrus does (later) admit he is driven by internalized loathing at his nose, but he never really faces what he did nor does the film ever really repudiate it. It's a typical example of a bully making an excuse rather than a reason. 

#Roxy wants hard to be Clueless, but it never really convinces that these kids are in high-school. The heroine is said to love literature, and Cyrus schools Christian on how to win her by insisting that he take a crash course in Brontes, Austen, and....weirdly, the Russians. He texts her quotes from Chekhov. The whole Russian angle appears to be solely so that Christian can saying, "You mean the guy on Star Trek"? as though that would be his frame of reference. Whereas films like Easy A and Clueless match their understanding of contemporary kids with the literature they are channeling, #Roxy appears to not really understand either. It drops quotes out of context and uses the literature as a badge. Isn't the whole point of Cyrano (or Roxanne) that the big-nosed guy really is a poet at heart? And Roxy comes across as neither smart nor sweet, just a poser. 

I guess some might find the story relevant to the current moment in that the guy struggles with body issues and the girl (initially) lusts only after the superficial...but is that a new twist? Really? Everyone seems like they are trying hard...too hard. I didn't hate it. It's not malicious. But I can't imagine I wouldn't rather my kids (if I had them) watch just about anything and my student just go ahead and read the Cliff's Notes. 

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