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DIRECTED BY: John Ainslie
FEATURING: Kimberly LaFerrière, Rogan Christopher
PLOT: Their relationship on the verge of collapse, Chloë and Jack honeymoon in Miami—and ingest a lot of peyote in their hotel room.
COMMENTS: John Ainslie’s evidences certainty as a director in how he orchestrates his main characters’ indecision so convincingly. At one moment—well, at plenty of moments—the audience really, really dislikes Jack, the childish fiancé-no-wait-husband of Chloë, an aspiring nurse; at the next moment, Ainslie forces you to consider that his fuck-all attitude is maybe the way to go. The distressing codependency between this pair saturates their scenes as gloppily as pools of blood will eventually saturate their hotel room carpeting. This film is about the ugly collapse of two people and their relationship.
Saving this relationship is the purpose of the spastic journey traveled by Chloë and Jack—a honeymoon of sorts at an “adults only” Miami hotel during the off-season. This is only one example of the many ways Chloë is disappointed in her now-husband—he was too cheap to book something during a more fashionable time of year. It’s a petty concern, certainly, but as is the case with many crumbling relationships, it’s the petty things that stack and stack, until something breaks. And in Do Not Disturb, break they do. Grandly.
While most of the film is believable (Ainslie made me hate Jack from at the start), the catalyst for the couple’s descent into mayhem is one of the most random and unbelievable bits of screen nonsense I’ve laid eyes on. While at the beach, the pair witness a fellow wake up from catatonia in a passionate haze. He’s high, he’s been duped somehow, and to emphasize how he won’t be duped again, he tosses down a bag of peyote and some red powder at their feet before walking into the ocean.
Ainslie’s story is dialogue-heavy, violence-heavy, and most emphatically drug-heavy. Breaking it down, it’s around one third chamber drama, one third gorefest, and one third feminist hurrah. The feminism and gore were nicely done; I loved witnessing this intelligent, if somewhat confused, woman break free from her shackles—doing so, primarily, through drugs and the aforementioned gore. But golly if the bad relationship dramatics didn’t tire me. That’s probably the point, though, as the bickering and flip-flopping are an icky and tedious phenomenon. Kimberly LaFerrière shines as the mousey-then-new woman, and I hope that Rogan Christopher finds the time for physical comedy; a sequence wherein Jack’s trying to brain a chatty visitor with a lamp whose cord seems it must be glued into the socket is a delight. All-in-all, this movie is like a peyote-fueled cannibal buffet: not to everyone’s liking, but a refreshing change from the ordinary.
WHAT THE CRITICS SAY: