Reviewed by: Gary Duncan

"Do we need a two-and-a-half-hour film about The Doors?" asked comedian Denis Leary. "I don't think so! I can sum it up for you right here: I'm drunk - I'm nobody. I'm drunk - I'm famous. I'm drunk - I'm fucking dead. That's your movie!"

Leary could just as easily have been describing More, Barbet Schroeder's hedonistic tale of a young German traveller, Stefan (Klaus Grunberg), who meets an exotic American hippy chick, Estelle (Mimsy Farmer), in Paris and follows her to Ibiza for a summer of sex and drugs and death. To paraphrase Leary: Stefan gets stoned, gets laid, then gets dead.

It sounds like an ideal recipe for a rollicking good ride of a movie, a sort of Trainspotting for the Flower Power generation - it was made in 1969 - and, initially, there's every reason to be hopeful. Pink Floyd provides a suitably atmospheric soundtrack, featuring The Nile Song and Cymbaline. Ibiza is beautifully shot, reminding us what it must have been like before the British lager tourists plastered it with vomit.

Mimsy Farmer, with her tousled hair and billowing shirts, looks the very image of Sixties cool. There's a bit of a problem, however. She can't act. Estelle is supposed to be manipulative and dangerous, but Farmer is too light, too vapid and never convinces. Being saddled with a clunky script doesn't help, of course, but she does little to make her mark and most of the time looks bored and out of place. Grunberg isn't much better. He looks the part, like a young Malcolm McDowell, but his often impenetrable German accent will have you reaching for the rewind button.

Not surprisingly, the chemistry between them is almost non-existent, so it's difficult to "buy" the Stefan/Estelle love angle - a major problem, as the whole movie hangs on it. Why else would the infatuated Stefan follow her to Ibiza? Why else would he let himself be sucked into her world of drugs and shady ex-Nazis?

The ingredients are there for a compelling story, but everything falls flat as the central relationship trudges along without ever really knowing where it's going. What we get instead is a series of tedious set pieces - Estelle and Stefan arguing, Estelle and Stefan taking drugs, Estelle and Stefan sunbathing.

It's a bit like looking at someone else's holiday snaps.

Reviewed on: 06 Dec 2003
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Sex drugs and death in Ibiza.
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Director: Barbet Schroeder

Writer: Paul Gegauff, Barbet Schroeder

Starring: Klaus Grunberg, Mimsy Farmer, Heinz Engelmann, Michel Chanderli, Louise Wink, Georges Montant

Year: 1969

Runtime: 112 minutes

BBFC: 18 - Age Restricted

Country: Germany/Luxembourg/France


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