Shiloh Fernandez and Amber Heard smugly celebrate sociopathy.
SYRUP (Aram Rappaport). 89 minutes. Opens Friday (July 12). For venues and times, see Movies. Rating: N
When you're making a movie out of a novel - or any script, really - you need to ask yourself one important question: what will it look like with real people in it?
This question badly needed asking during the production of Syrup, which takes Max Barry's satirical novel about a young man trying to succeed in the cutthroat, image-conscious world of New York drink marketing and turns it into a smug, nearly unwatchable celebration of sociopathy.
Maybe on the page its savvy, self-aware narrator came off as less of a dick than he does in the form of Shiloh Fernandez. (In fairness, Fernandez was sympathetic and likeable in that Evil Dead remake, which might have led director Aram Rappaport to think he didn't have to direct his star.)
Instead, Fernandez's sneering hipster - who must come up with a new product to impress an even more self-aware executive (Amber Heard) when his roommate (Twilight's Kellan Lutz) steals his million-dollar drink idea - is so repellent that I found myself hoping he'd be hit by a truck every time he crossed the street.
The rest of the movie is pretty vile, too, burying potentially interesting observations about the amorality of advertising under a layer of bullshit posturing that makes Mad Men look like cinéma vérité.