Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Olek Krupa, Lolita Davidovich, Timothy Olyphant, Christina Ricci, Rhona Bennett
Director: Marius Balchunas
Genres: Comedy, Drama
Some people forget that motels are for temporary stays. This particular motel is much like the next with its thin walls & easily jimmied doors. You know youre in for a treat when christina ricci wakes up with the wrong guy... more »
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Dr Lawrence Hauser | NYC, NY USA | 12/31/2004
(1 out of 5 stars)
"Christina Ricci is such a fine actress that even in a superficial, pointless film like No Vacancy she is worth watching. There is something so impish and deceptively unassuming about her screen presence that the total lack of plot and character development in this bit of fluff is unable to stifle her creative fires. That said, I would suggest avoiding No Vacancy (the title refers to the occupancy status of the Hollywood motel where all the action takes place) as it has few other redeeming qualities. Tedious and annoying, the storyline is comprised of a series of uninspired skits desperately edited at a frenetic pace in an attempt, one might think, to distract the viewer from their inherent lack of cohesiveness or meaning. Why so many talented actors commited themselves to such an unpromising project is beyond my understanding. Perhaps the script worked better as text but failed to translate well onto the screen? I know that negative reviews are rarely appreciated on this website but I felt a need to contribute my thoughts as a service to others who might be tempted by this film. Don't waste your time."
Try "Four Rooms" Instead
Only-A-Child | 11/24/2005
(2 out of 5 stars)
"The good news is that "No Vacancy" is not totally unwatchable. I managed to get through the WHOLE thing by breaking it into two days of viewing. This alone makes it better than "Lenny the Wonderdog" and many student films.
Back in 1995, a young Robert Rodriquez made a fairly entertaining anthology film called "Four Rooms", the setting is a hotel and the four stories take place in different rooms of that hotel. Marius Balchunas thought the idea so compelling that he appropriated it wholesale and wrote a script structured around the same premise. His one concession to originality was to change the setting from a hotel to a motel. Unfortunately Balchunas did not pay enough attention to the credits of "Four Rooms" and failed to see that its real strength was using four writer/directors (one was Tarintino), a different director for each room.
"No Vacancy" has three main stories. Lillian (Christina Ricci) wakes up in her room to find that she has spent the night with Luke (Timothy Olyphant) instead of her finance. Reynoldo (Joaquin de Almeida), the motel manager, is sizing up his daughter's Anglo boyfriend. Two seemingly non-actor personal friends (or enemies) of Balchunas are trying to figure out a way to pay for the escort service they used the night before. There are a few other quirky characters but they add almost nothing to the mix. Robert Wagner appears at one point playing Harvey Keitel's "The Wolf" character from "Pulp Fiction"; Balchunas cleverly (Duh!) disguises this identity theft by naming the character Mr. Tangerine, apparently more homage to Tarintino (insert "Reservoir Dogs" here). Because the low budget did not permit any decent music or original score, Balchunas had to rely on lounge music, possibly borrowed from old episodes of "Surfside Six". There is no danger of a CD release.
Joaquin de Almeida's stuff is really well done, it would probably hold up well in a good movie but looks even better here because of the awful stuff that surrounds it.
Ricci's performance is nothing to write home about although that is probably due to the lame script. But "No Vacancy" is a must see for her fans because of her physical appearance. This was her mega-fat phase and her outfits reveal a lot that I didn't really need to see. But she is worth seeing here just to fully appreciate the miracle physical transformation that took place between this and her next film, "Sleepy Hollow". I defy anyone without prior knowledge to detect that it is the same actress. Tim Burton must have locked her down for a few months of food withdrawal and exercise before he started filming. It helped some that she wore period costumes in "Sleepy Hollow", but her face has narrowed significantly and she has gotten actual definition back in her features.
Then again, what do I know? I'm only a child."
Certainly not the best but not the worst either......
Margaux Paschke | New York | 01/20/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
"The biggest mistake this movie made was trying too hard to be something else. It made me think the director was attempting to outdo "Four Rooms" or "After Dark". This in no way would have been considered a success. The scenes were hit or miss. The plot loosely revolved around Christina Ricci and Timothy Olyphant as he mistakenly entered her motel room for the night. Theirs is a farcical romance with all other characters running around them like chickens with their heads cut off. This movie does succeed to varying degrees in providing mindless entertainment. I hate to admit that I enjoyed certain parts of the skits, like the drunk boys or Robert Wagner, but there was no real plot, no outstanding performances, and many of the overlapping scenes were too disjointed to make it worth viewing again.
This movie is a guilty pleasure type of thing - a nice bit of fluff between serious films or sneaking a trashy Jackie Collins novel in movie form. Not highly recommended but not the worst I've seen either.