Love at First Byte
Review by Ross Anthony

This cannot be a legitimate review. Though we picked up our tickets early for the 7pm show at the Santa Monica Loews, we were delayed by the most spectacular sunset I've seen in months, perhaps years. Multiple layers of clouds, multiple varieties of clouds. Huge deep blue, becoming dark menacing blue clouds bellowing out and over us, providing a lofty ceiling, the bottom of which scorched red by the fury of a sun unseen. And then, two, even three lines of staccato puff clouds like lines of soldiers on an invisible ridge standing proudly waiting for orders, beaming white, reflecting blues from the ceiling above, and red from the sun below the curve of the Earth. The display blurred with a couple of smeared brush strokes of misty clouds refusing definition, but accenting the show like angels breath in a bouquet. And that ain't the half of it. The two S1m0ne tickets burning a whole in my pocket, I still couldn't move my feet for at least 30 minutes and even then, I strained my neck looking back over my shoulder as the glorious sunset faded to blue and red only and then blue only.

Well, having missed the first half hour, we decided to stop for food, so with 30 minutes left in the production, we knocked on the locked theatre door and convinced the manager that we were willing to see the remainder of the film unbriefed by the intro. He finally let us in.

S1mone didn't disappoint us and no briefing was necessary. It was obvious that Al had created a virtual movie star and then fallen in love with her, but by the time we sat down that affair had grown dangerous and destructive. I'd expected the film to have been proud and serious, but instead found it pleasantly light and humorous. A run-ragged Al shamelessly avoids shame, as do the other Hollywood stereotypes that take a few punches for their superficiality. With a dialogue running from quick little profundities to the satirical, S1mone had members of the audience laughing out loud in spots and surprisingly cajoled applause upon conclusion.

As I officially viewed less than half of the film, I'll reserve grading. But, what I did see, I enjoyed.

BTW: You may notice in the credits "And introducing Simone as herself." That tag implies the wonderfully ironic thought that the actress playing Simone is actually only a cyber-actress too. Not so, New Line tells me Evan Rachel Wood plays Simone, but I must say, I enjoyed the intellectual tease.

  • S1m0ne. Copyright © 2002. Rated PG-13.
  • Starring Al Pacino, Catherine Keener, Pruitt Taylor Vince, Jason Schwartzman, Evan Rachel Wood, Elias Koteas, Jay Mohr, Rebecca Romijn-Stamos. And introducing Simone as herself.
  • Written, Directed and Produced by Andrew Niccol (of Truman Show fame) at New Line.

Copyright © 2001. Ross Anthony, currently based in Los Angeles, has scripted and shot documentaries, music videos, and shorts in 35 countries across North America, Europe, Africa and Asia. For more reviews visit:

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Last Modified: Saturday, 16-Sep-2006 07:53:49 PDT