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Life Without Louis 

It’s just as well that I Love You, Daddy won’t be playing at your neighborhood theater

click to enlarge Let it all fade away

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Let it all fade away

Last week, I got a message saying Louis C.K. was available for interviews along with a link to watch his latest film, I Love You, Daddy. I also got a form asking for, among other things, my reaction to the movie.

I was a little peeved that my reaction to the film was needed before granting an interview, but no big deal. I got a bunch of outlets interested, and, as a long-standing, rabid Louis C.K. fan, I figured the movie would be great, right?

This is easily the worst thing C.K. has done since Pootie Tang. Not only is it a bad movie on a purely technical level, but its subject matter is, as you may already know, a bit suspect.

For the past couple of years, I'd been reading those disturbing "rumors" of C.K.'s demented sexual proclivities. This weird-as-all-fuck movie seems to be a sort of strange confessional about those alleged, messed up mistreatments of female colleagues and fans.

It also seems to be giving the finger to people who take issue with artists who do stupid, arguably criminal things, as if those people are being shallow for not separating art from a person's bad behavior. It has a real creepy, odd vibe to it. And, as I've already stated, it's just not very good.

After watching, I sent a note saying I did not like the movie, and I withdrew myself from consideration to interview the great Louis C.K.

A few hours later, the New York Times story dropped, followed shortly thereafter by C.K.'s half-assed apology. Those mistreatments are no longer "alleged," and now nobody will be interviewing Louis C.K. or seeing what is now a really, really shitty movie, considering what has transpired regarding his lewd sexual deeds. The film is garbage in so many ways, and its release has been cancelled.

C.K. self-funded and directed the movie in secret so nobody could tell him what he could and could not put into it. Man, does that ever show.

One of those pesky studios would've told him the movie looked like crap and was about questionable subject matter, all things considered. He shot it on black-and-white 35mm film quickly and cheaply. It looks washed out and poorly constructed.

This black and white "art" film is, in part, an homage to Woody Allen's Manhattan, so that's troubling. It features an older director, played by John Malkovich, (and clearly modeled after Allen) who is notorious for sleeping with under-aged girls. C.K. plays a famous TV producer, a character who deeply admires the director's work, but his fandom is called into question when said director takes an interest in his 17 year-old daughter, China, played by Chloe Grace Moretz.

The movie actually features a character (played by Charlie Day) mimicking vigorous masturbation while C.K talks to a woman on speaker phone. So, included in this insane movie, is a slapstick depiction of one of the vile things C.K. was accused of doing. That takes balls. Giant, totally depraved balls.

This is also supposed to be C.K.'s modern statement on feminism but plays more like straight up misogyny. It's sad to see the likes of Moretz, Edie Falco, and Rose Byrne virtually humiliated. As for Woody Allen, the movie clearly wants you to knock it off when it comes to denouncing C.K.'s pervert idol and former Blue Jasmine boss.

On what was supposed to be the film's premiere day, C.K. wound up issuing a public apology to the women in the Times story. Hard to take that apology seriously after seeing the contents of this film, which he was studiously trying to release up until the moment he issued that statement.

I Love You, Daddy plays like a career suicide note, as if its maker knew his day of reckoning was coming. David Bowie made his last album knowing he was going to die, and it was beautiful. C.K. made what might be his last film perhaps knowing he was doomed or, even worse, bulletproof. It's totally gross and stupid, and it will not be playing at a theater near you.

More by Bob Grimm

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