Confessions of a Sociopathic Social Climber

I know that you don’t have to make your lead character in a movie completely loveable, but making them interesting is generally a must, especially if you’re going to include them in every single shot you take. In the case of Confessions of a Sociopathic Social Climber, we don’t get an interesting protagonist, and as a result, the film isn’t enjoyable. Well, it’s also that way because it’s a standard, clichéd romantic comedy, but that almost comes with the territory.

The film stars Jennifer Love Hewitt as Katya Livingston. She works in advertising, although the amount of work she accomplishes is debatable. Apparently she’s quite good at her job, as she is always claiming so while nobody says anything to the contrary. However, we only see her take long breaks, talk on the phone about personal business, and kill her boss’ pets. That’s a running gag in the film, although it’s a sadistic one if you ask me. She ends up getting an assistant at one point, but apart from a late game decision, he’s more or less a pointless character. Then again, her boss and friends also fit into the category.

The only other person that matters is a man we don’t actually get to properly meet until nearly the end of the film. His name ends up being Charles (Colin Ferguson), although he also goes by the name “Chuck.” Remember that, as it’s quite important (no, it’s not actually, although if you want to be “in” on one of the gags before the film tells you, it’ll serve you well). She first sees him walking into the building that her office is in, before envisioning him walking up and kissing her. Of course, that doesn’t happen. But this vision makes her decide that trying to win his affection would be in her best interest, even if she doesn’t make much of an effort over the course of the film.

There’s also a major party coming up. You need a golden key in order to get into the party, and those keys (it seems everyone but Ms. Livingston has one) act as our MacGuffins. She isn’t invited, but is determined to get one. Most of her actions over the course of the film are driven to either get a key or win the heart of Charles, although which one is more important isn’t made particularly clear.

At the end, we end up getting a slapdash romantic comedy. It doesn’t seem that way throughout; for most of the film, we just watch Katya go about her daily life while trying to procure a key for herself. And then at the end, well, I’m sure you can guess what happens. Picture a generic romantic comedy, and you’ve probably figured out how Confessions of a Sociopathic Social Climber. If you want a hint, just look at the title.

There are a few reasons why this isn’t a good film. The first is that it doesn’t stay true to itself. If it wanted to go the romantic comedy way — and I generally don’t particularly mind the formula rom-com — then it needed to do that the entire time. Let us get to know the love interest before two-thirds of the film are over. Show us that the lead character has some sort of inkling to change herself. Actually allow for the romance to be built so that if/when it falls apart, it’ll matter. We don’t get any of this, so the attempt at the end to turn the film into a romantic comedy falls flat, especially because it relies on genre clichés.

The second reason is one that I mentioned earlier: The main character. She’s a one-note character whose sole characteristic is that she’s self-centered. That’s as deep as she gets, save for one turn that happens late in the film that you will expect and won’t surprise you at all. That turn also comes out of nowhere, which is why I stated earlier that having hints regarding how she’s feeling about herself would have improved the film. Unfortunately, none of that happens, and were are left with a character that doesn’t make sense despite being incredibly simplistic.

Finally, it simply isn’t funny. I think that I might have laughed once, although that might have been a pity laugh — I’m not sure. I can’t remember any of the jokes or lines throughout, and I sat there most of the time just having a lousy time. It’s entirely possible that other people will find this film funny, and if that’s the case, they might have a good time. I just didn’t see the humor in this one, leading to an unenjoyable experience.

Is there anything to like here? In short: No. I can’t think of a single moment when I enjoyed watching this film. I guess having the camera always focused on Jennifer Love Hewitt is a good idea, despite her not being a particularly good actress. (Just look at the roles she picks; how can we really know if she can act?) Anyway, the opening title sequence has her bouncing around in her underwear for a couple of minutes, which comes close to being something I could call a highlight.

Confessions of a Sociopathic Social Climber is a mess. It doesn’t stick to a genre, which makes the ending come out of nowhere, it doesn’t allow any development for its characters, and it isn’t funny. When the opening title scene is the best part of the film, you know you’re not in for a good time. If you’ve heard of this movie, and you were curious about it, stay far away. If you hadn’t heard about it, forget I said anything and continue your ignorance — it’ll be better for you than wasting 90 minutes with this eyesore.

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