Maybe you thought since Emily Browning (“Sucker Punch”) is naked most of the time in “Sleeping Beauty” that the movie would be double the fun. No way Jose. On a scale of 1 to 10, “Sleeping Beauty” is a negative 10. A total bust, a stupefyingly unattractive erotic movie that tries to be clever and thought provoking, to no avail. I heard the film got booed at this year’s Cannes festival, but I guess I had to see for myself. I waited for things to get interesting… but it never did, and then it ended. Talk about a cheat! Emily Browning stars as Lucy, a university student who holds down half a dozen jobs to simply pay the rent and survive (jobs include prostitution, waitressing, and some kind of experimental medical lab rat). One day, she finds a job that, while exploiting her body, will bring her a large paycheque as well. Her job is to provide a service for rich, older gentlemen, which basically involves her pouring wine at lavish dinner parties for them whilst wearing skimpy, tight lingerie. But then it gets worse: after a while playing the slutty waitress, the higher paid gigs do quickly come her way – her promotion being now a ‘Sleeping Beauty’, or a girl who takes a substance drug that will keep her completely asleep over night and won’t be awoken by the physical acts old men perform on her while naked. Fucked up right? I mean who wants to see pervy old guys taking their clothes off, and flashing their penises in front of the camera? Not me.
“Sleeping Beauty” is an attempt at provocative filmmaking. I say “attempt” because it fails miserably. There’s a lot of huffing and puffing to convince audiences that there’s something more than the lame storyline. I say don’t buy it. Check your watch instead. My guess is you’ll find you’ve lost 90 minutes you’ll never get back.