Hot lesbians, corporate greed, mafia bosses and lots and lots of
sex abound in the absurdly titled “She Hate Me.” The
Spike Lee-directed film has at least two and conceivably five
almost unrelated storylines packed into an epic two-plus-hour
running time. This is ok for “Lord of the Rings,” but
this movie is so tonally inconsistent, so meandering and so
mind-numbingly boring that it fails as a film on every level.

The movie follows the exploits of Jack Armstrong (Anthony
Mackie, “The Manchurian Candidate”) who is fired from
his high paying job after he turns corporate whistle-blower. Jack
resorts to the only reasonable fallback occupation for a man in his
position — impregnating lesbians. The film thus proceeds to
jump from a legitimate condemnation of self-serving corporate
America to some kind of weird and unfunny sitcom. There is
absolutely nothing to connect the two storylines apart from the
actor, and the change in tone is so abrupt that whatever interest
either story may have generated is quickly severed by the jarring
shift.

Lee wanders between these two disparate threads with no
indication of what he’s working toward. Just to make sure the
film is as wildly uneven as possible, he throws in a mafia princess
played by Monica Bellucci (“The Passion of the
Christ”), a few knocks at President Bush that even party-line
Democrats will roll their eyes at, an extraneous family subplot, a
Watergate throwback, a “Mr. Smith goes to Washington”
riff and a series of laugh-inspiringly earnest endings.

This is a shame since the finale in which Jack comes to terms
with himself was the only part of the movie that garnered any
laughs.

For a picture that bills itself as a comedy, the film is
shockingly unfunny. Worse yet, for a Spike Lee movie, which relies
on controversy to sell itself, this project leaves the audience
incredibly indifferent. Lee attempts to play on stereotypes ranging
from the absent black father to the black sex superman to gorgeous
sexually open lesbians. The point, presumably, is to shock and
annoy his audience into paying attention with his avant-garde lack
of structure and obtrusive, heavy-handed camerawork. What happens,
however, is that sometime in the first two hours of the film, the
audience stops being offended and starts heading for the exits.

 

Rating: 1 out of 5 stars.

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