By: Oberst Von Berauscht & Bill Leon (Six Pack) –
-Oberst: Christopher Tracy (Prince) and his friend Tricky (Jerome Benton) are a couple of con artists who seduce and swindle wealthy socialites on the French Riviera. When Christopher meets rich girl Mary Sharon (Kristin Scott Thomas) he finds himself falling in love, much to the chagrin of Mary’s domineering father.
-Bill L.: Mary’s father Isaac Sharon tries to pay Christophe
-Bill L.: This film’s soundtrack album, more commonly known as Parade, is one of Prince’s best albums and contains one of his biggest hits. “Kiss”. And Tom Jones covered it once.
-Oberst: Coming off of the success of Purple Rain, Warner Brothers gave Prince a sizable budget, and larger degree of freedom to follow it up. Prince chose to direct the film, which was shot almost entirely in the costal French city of Nice with master cameraman Michael Ballhaus tapped as cinematographer. Prince chose to direct the film, and surrounded himself with talented character actors like Steven Berkhoff, Alexandra Stewart, and newcomer Kristin Scott Thomas. And Prince Chose to Direct the Film.
-Oberst: Did I mention that Prince chose to direct the film?
-Bill L.: Prince’s directing style when it comes to his actors is chaotic and unfocused. Most of the actors feel like they’re on stage rather than in a film. The already weak script’s flaws are much more abundantly clear here than they would’ve been with a better director at the helm.
-Oberst: This movie tries to juggle two entirely different moods, that of a romantic drama, and that of a slapstick comedy. For context; imagine you’re watching The Notebook, but where Bud Abbott is Ryan Gosling and Lou Costello is his goofy roommate. Contrary to certain internet memes, not everything blends…
-Bill L.: The tone is all over the place. Comedy, drama, and intrigue are juggled frivolousl
-Oberst: Jerome Benton worked well as a comedic foil when paired off against Morris Day in Purple Rain. Prince, on the other hand, is clearly not gifted at comedic delivery, leaving Jerome struggling to find footing in a series of failed gags. Nothing is worse than bad comic relief, and when your film’s funniest moments come from the “serious” parts, you’ve really got a problem.
-Bill L.: Any scene where Prince and Mary have dialogue about their potential romance is so laughably bad I couldn’t breathe. What is even more surprising about much of the “serious” dialogue is that this is NOT a script Prince wrote (that I know of. Honestly, it’s got his manicured fingerprin
-Oberst: While the film does attempt a kind of visual flair using black and white photography, these visual flourishes never fully pay off. Part of the problem is that the film was shot in Color and processed as Black and White. This creates problems for lighting because images which look well-lit and framed in color can often appear quite the opposite when converted.
-Bill L.: It seems that Michael Ballhaus and Prince were in a battle over who was visually in charge of this film. I get the feeling Prince tried to have more a hand than he should have in some of the cinematogr
-Bill L.: The film ends with a ton of melodrama, something reminiscen
-Oberst: I’m going to go ahead and spoil the ending because I don’t believe anyone should have t0 see this movie. Prince is killed by Mary’s Father Isaac… A bummer ending that is hinted at from the very beginning, and features a positively tear-streaked “Oscar-worthy” performance from Jerome Benton. Because Warner Brothers sees fit to take down every clip of this movie as soon as it is posted to Youtube, here’s a clip from another movie featuring “acting”.
-Oberst: A shameful waste of resources, which could have been allocated to a more deserving passion-project.
-Bill L.: Under the Cherry Moon is a mess. It’s everything you fear Purple Rain WOULD have been… maybe even SHOULD have been. Nonsensica
Take a Drink: for each Prince song
Take a Drink: any time Jerome and Prince attempt “comedy”
Take a Drink: when Mary speaks in monotone
Drink a Shot: when Prince visibly flubs a line