Welcome To L.A.

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WELCOME TO L.A. —-welcome to pretentious movie-making. The ‘La-la’ of the pampered, disaffected artiste, not the Los Angeles of the norm, courtesy of director Alan Rudolph, groaning to emulate Robert Altman.

‘Sensitive’ songwriter Keith Carradine comes back to southern California from England, to see his wealthy father, and wrangle some business involving his music. He enjoys carnal knowledge of/with every woman in the cast–they’re all unhappy with their lives.

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Apparently, writer-director Rudolph equates being laid-back with having brain damage: everyone is skirting catatonia. The cast are able, but the unappealing, undeveloped characters they are dealt, and the whiff of condescension laced into their behaviors invalidates the drama. The ‘heavy’ songs that trace the narrative are tasking, to be kind.

Take the downside of Altman, and you end up with Rudolph. If you go for his tone, enjoy. I’ll break with tradition and offer that not everyone between Santa Barbara and Tijuana is a jerk, even if it makes tiresome culture snobs feel more secure to think so. Go get an In-N-Out Burger and lighten the hell up.

With Sally Kellerman, Geraldine Chaplin, Harvey Keitel, Lauren Hutton, Sissy Spacek, Viveca Lindfors, Denver Pyle, John Considine, Richard Baskin. From 1976, running 106 dreary minutes.

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