You've never heard of The Blootooth Virgin. You might never hear of The Bluetooth Virgin. But man, if the world was cooler and great storytelling always had a place at the table, The Bluetooth Virgin would crack everyone's top ten list this year. So I say to the studio execs, "release this!" Certainly there are still some smart folk out there who want to see movies, right? Anyone?
Set against the backdrop of Los Angeles, the city of broken dreams, the story explores the relationship between two friends, David and Sam. David is a magazine editor/writer whom Sam seeks out for advice on a screenplay he's writing. Sam is an aspiring screenwriter who has a long-canceled TV show to his credit, and he's looking for some affirmation and notes on his latest project from David. Embedded within that relationship are all the timeless questions that the superb stories ask (I'll get to those below). To its credit, this film doesn't give you all the answers ... but it certainly makes you ponder.
What's striking, brilliant, and refreshing about this story is its sheer minimalist quality. I think there were seven scenes total in the 80 minute running time, with only six characters carrying the dialogue load. And what dialogue it is! Beautiful and quotable, intriguing and challenging. There are so many great themes here, you truly wonder how writer/director Russell Brown will find something else to write about in future projects. But if you're interested in dynamic, clever writing here's a taste of the topics and memes broached:
The role of criticism
The studio system and the constant release of the average film
Honesty and the obligation you owe a friend re: their writing
Art and the artist
The motivation of writers
Pop culture vs. classic work vs. selling out vs. integrity
Validation and the envy of others
Being a great writer vs. having an ego vs. the need everyone has to be "seen"
It goes on and on, building upon itself and coiling like a snake until you can't help but become involved in the characters. The film has a very crisp tone; I would recommend it to anyone looking for something in the vein of Glengarry Glen Ross. I chuckled quite a few times and I ruminated on concepts quite a few more as the story shifted and built momentum.
There's not much to complain about here save for the notion that films like this rarely get released. We can cry all we want but people seem to really like explosions and monsters. Does that mean I refuse to hope for and recommend a film like this? Nah. These are the sorts of films that keep a fellow sane. These are the sorts of films that might not resonate today, even though they keep film squarely within the evolutionary process. Sure, The Bluetooth Virgin may not find love right around the corner, but it's a film I'll have no problem recommending 20 years from now. That's got to count for something.