Virgin Territory

2009-08-07 08:56
 

What it's about:

Based on a novel by 14th century Italian writer, Giovanni Boccaccio, Virgin Territory is a lascivious tale of young couples struggling with lustful thoughts while negotiating the difficult terrain of falling in love. Hayden Christensen stars as Lorenzo, a young scoundrel who finds retreat from Italian aristocrat Gerbino (Tim Roth) in a convent where he pretends to be deaf and mute while taking advantage of the sex-starved nuns. Mischa Barton plays Pampinea, a beautiful maiden whose father's death has left her broke and her husband-to-be, a wealthy Russian count (Matthew Rhys), is nowhere to be seen. While staying at the convent to retain her chastity before her wedding, Pampinea falls for Lorenzo.

What we thought:

Here is proof that sex does not always sell. Director David Leland's two lovebird leads, played by Barton and Christensen, tiptoe around each other without any spark. Barton, whose character I suspect was meant to be a charming though flighty young lady, prances through this film with a deadpan expression, while Christensen's Lorenzo is more of a whiney boy than Lothario.

Including five other mating pairs in the plot leaves little space for exploring the couple's emotional connection. Their romance is highly implausible and the utter lack of chemistry between these two shines a massive spotlight on just how ill-conceived this enterprise is.

Expect to see two hours of plot gimmicks – including a painter posing as a priest, far too many romantic sub-plots, plenty of breasts, small penises, and flashing swords to make up for them – but no real human emotion.

Is Virgin Territory funny? Yes, if you enjoy crass humour with little originality. The abundant sexual innuendos are definitely in line with teen comedies and the quick wit is often lost in ill-timed delivery. The highlight of the film is Matthew Rhys' Russian Count Dzerzinsky, who rattles off his name and lineage with such pride and zest that it's impossible not to laugh.

Tim Roth does not have much to work with and his reprisal of Gerbino might have been inspired by Johnny Depp's slurring Captain Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean – only he doesn't pull it off with quite the same comedic flair.

To its credit, Virgin Territory is well shot and the countryside scenery is stunning. While it's no masterpiece, it's entertaining enough.


Rehab reject Mischa Barton and Hayden Christensen lead a cast of lusty, busty beauties in a movie that proves sex doesn’t always sell.

ray simbule 2009/08/07 1:25 PM
am cool,smart and cliver
preshen govender 2009/08/11 9:16 AM
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Virginity is not an act of dignity it is a lack of opportunity
kkailoud 2010/06/01 2:55 PM
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