My latest Netflix movie is Lost and Delirious. And I’ve watched it, which was a positive experience. Yet I have been staring at this mostly blank screen for the majority of the day. I think it’s that my opinions are too many and too contradictory. In short, the chick from The O.C. is sent to an all-female boarding school, where she becomes roommate with a pair of seniors, one hard-nosed and feminist, the other vivaciously popular. At first, it looks like one of those coming-out-of-the-shell stories in which Mischa Barton would have been the main character embarking on her journey toward personhood. Then, at the end of the first act, it veers sharply into one of those obsession thrillers in which our purported main character mostly serves as the audience’s window on the action when it is revealed that her roommates are engaged in a sexual relationship.
And I think it could have made a fine obsession thriller too, except that it couldn’t make up its mind to commit to that. For every scene in which a new boyfriend is about to die in a sword fight and simply isn’t taking it seriously enough yet, there are three in which someone screams and runs out of a room / across the school lawn. And it’s not like that’s unrealistic high school obsessive behavior; it’s that the swords and the pet falcon are, and after it was hinted that I might get that movie, it became the one I wanted. Still, what was left behind was good stuff. Surprisingly good acting from a variety of very young actresses, modernly relevant sociosexual politics, not terribly many overwrought or thematically pushy scenes. And, y’know, sword fights.