Netflix movie 365 Days — or 365 dni — is Poland’s version of 50 Shades of Grey, so insert your kielbasa joke here. At least superficially, it follows the formula perfectly: Based on an “erotic novel” (by Blanka Lipinska), taboo content,
ich guy with kinks, female protagonist who lacks a certain intellective je na sais quoi, etc. But will it differ from its vapid American predecessor and compel us not to fast forward through the soapy-story stuff to get to the inevitable sweatball scrump-o-rama?
The Gist: Fate has grabbed Massimo (Michele Morrone) by the face and forced his face into a rancid pie: One moment, he’s spying on a gorgeous woman on the beach with his binoculars, and the next, he takes a bullet in the abdomen after it passed through his father’s chest. He will never forget that day, because five years later, he’s still obsessed with the woman (and maybe misses his old man too). He inherited the family business, a criminal empire that affords him to live in a sprawling castle-villa LUST PALACE. To ask the question no doubt passing through the minds of everyone who’s seen a terrible movie, is he Italian? Does Paulie Walnuts like macaroni and gravy?
The woman is Laura (Anna Maria Sieklucka), a frustrated corporate higher-up who goes home to her lout of a boyfriend and his goddamn camo cargo shorts. She’s so frustrated, she tests the endurance of her battery-operated bedside implements while Lugnuts watches TV in the next room. They leave the next day for a vacation in Sicily (uh oh) for her 29th birthday. They quarrel, she takes off from the hotel and hasn’t the slightest inkling that Massimo spotted her at the airport and had her stalked, drugged and kidnapped back to his chateau where he gives her 365 days to love him, or she can go back to her cruddy, cruddy life in Poland.
“Teach me to be gentle,” Massimo says. He insists he won’t do anything without her consent, which is supposed to be one of the things persuading Laura not to be freaked the holy eff right out, considering she’s trapped, and he owns the town and its cops and has armed goons everywhere. Let it be known that Massimo is a towering hunk of swarthy muscle, and she rolls over one morning and wakes up unexpectedly with her nose in his fat-free armpit. She decides to tease him, so she gets her butt out and walks to the glassed-in couples’ shower, and he joins her, and she gawks and gawks at his spicy Italian sausage. Hey, maybe being a hostage ain’t so bad after all! He sidles up to her slackened jaw and dampened bod and, with all the seductive hormonal ooze he can summon, whispers to her, “When your entire life is based on taking everything with force, it’s hard to react in a different way, especially if someone is taking away the pleasure you really desire.” HOW could she RESIST?
What Movies Will It Remind You Of?: I think we’ve covered this already.
Performance Worth Watching: Surely you jest.
Memorable Dialogue: Let’s see — which ESL howler shall I choose? How about Laura’s impassioned protest to Massimo’s attempts to control her: “I’m not a bag of potatoes you can transfer without my permission!”
Sex and Skin: Let’s see, we’ve got a thorough smorgasbord of inside-outside-upside-down hetero-hardish-softcore bonery-pokery: Frontal (barely any male, though), backal and side-al nudity; HEAPS and HEAPS of oral tomfoolery; some relatively tame BDSM; a smidgen of voyeurism; two instances of saliva-as-lubicrant; and a bona-fide HUMPTAGE punctuated by Massimo’s incinerating line reading, “We only slept one hour.”
Our Take: Sure, it’s tasteless and regressive and cynical and anti-feminist and intellectually barren, but is it HOT? Maybe, if you can compartmentalize the context and concentrate really hard on the idea that not-quite-pornographic sexual intercourse is occurring right before your very eyes. Funny how the camera comes mere millimeters from showing dong, while otherwise shamelessly cramming in all the crass hallmarks of a movie written by a marketing department hoping to bullseye women: beefcake, girl’s-night shenanigans, a makeover montage, a wedding and, count ’em, THREE different clothes-shopping sequences. In a movie that’s essentially about Stockholm syndrome!
Outside of its putrid, execrable, contemptible, smell-ass content, the movie is a slickly directed shitshow, a hodgepodge of scenes desperately seeking a decent character or tone. The dialogue — spoken in English, Polish and Italian for maximum targeting of international demographics — is awkward, as if it’s being recited phonetically. The hilariously smarmy quasi-pop-song soundtrack would’ve been rejected by Tommy Wiseau. And frankly, you’ll get bored by the third or fourth time (I gave up counting) Massimo gets a beej. The movie pretty much cops every move made by 50 Shades, as if it were a bible of antisexy awfulness. 365 Days at least improves upon its thematic and stylistic predecessor by rendering its male antihero in a more flattering moral light: Massimo is merely a gangster who murders people and trafficks drugs, where Christian Gray was a corporate billionaire. Baby steps. Sure, in its elephantine wrongheadedness, 365 Days is screamingly funny at times. But it’s ultimately as arousing as a washing machine diagnostics manual.
Originally Publish at: https://decider.com/