DEAR EVERYONE involved in the production of The Californians: You stole 91 minutes of my life and I want it BACK. When I think of all the things I could've done in 91 minutes it makes me want to vomit napalm darts into star Noah Wyle's eyes. I hate everything about this movie. I hate the plot: That stupid, stupid plot about how an evil real estate mogul (Wyle) falls in love with a radical environmentalist folksinger (Kate Mara). I hate the satiric steez that's never biting enough to actually satirize anything. I hate the ridiculous urban hippie/adult contemporary soundtrack that's SUPPOSED to be ridiculous and SUPPOSED to be adult contemporary but... still. I hate that The Californians director Jonathan Parker (Bartleby) can do so much better, but he left me wanting to kick his characters IN THE FACE UNTIL THEY ARE DEAD.
I hate Cloris Leachman who cameos as a diseased, old, flaky hippie and looks like an evil skull. I hate that this film makes me hate environmentalists so much I want to destroy all the wetlands with a giant hairdryer, BBQ the whales, and turn all the world's forests into pencils—then SNAP THEM IN HALF AND NOT RECYCLE THEM.
I get what they're trying to do—The Californians is supposed to be a sort of Best in Show for wacky, leftist, nature freaks—which is a great idea. But it seems like Parker and crew are second guessing themselves; they start to pour it on but step back and shy away from being too "over the top" when it's most needed. Because y'know what? Parodies and satirical farces should be over the top. The reason why, say, Waiting for Guffman skewered regional theater so well was it wasn't afraid to be absurd and obvious. The Californians is over-intellectualized satire on eggshells. It's nothing but muted punch lines and too many moments where the film subtles itself into being a PG-as-fuck, made-for-TV-ish, unfunny romantic comedy. Ninety-one fucking minutes... I can't believe this crap.