All the Boys love Mandy Lane (2006)
Review by Jude Felton
And you kissed me and stopped me from shaking, and I need you today, oh Mandy. Where the fuck have you been, oh Mandy. Ladies and Gentleman, Mr. Manilow has fortunately left the building, although the question still remains as to where the hell Mandy Lane has been? The film hit festivals in the States a few years ago, the film having been made in 2006, and has also since seen Blu-ray and DVD release in the UK, among other territories. Here though? Nothing. Until now.
The sad thing is I believe the only reason that All the Boys love Mandy Lane has seen the light of day now is because Warm Bodies, which shares the same director, Jonathan Levine, was a pretty successful. More is the shame though, as Mandy Lane is a damned fine movie.
Due to the films age, and seven years is a long time in the world of film, you cannot avoid spoilers galore. I, of course, won’t share any with you, but be warned if you Google the film, especially the images, as they will kill it for you. I guess it can’t be helped though, even though someone tried their hardest to spoil it for me with an innocent enough comment.
Anyway, the film itself, which is kind of a slacker slasher, for want of anything better to call it (and me being lazy), which does serve as an introduction of where Levine would go with Warm Bodies. Not in terms of content, as this is far more violent, but in terms of characterization and plot devices. Hang on, they aren’t called slackers any more, are they? Hipsters? Who the fuck cares?
Crap generalizations aside though, the film focuses on Mandy Lane, of course, who quite frankly is the shit; the boys do indeed all love her. Mandy, to her eternal credit, does not let this go to her head though, and is quite the charming young lass.
When there’s a party at one of the “boys” residence, everyone wants to get Mandy Lane there. Why? Because they all think that they have a chance… Alas, the party does not go so well, for one unfortunate, and this puts a new spin on the kids’ lives. That is until the next party comes along, a year later, and of course Mandy is invited to that one as well.
It’s from here on in that the horror kicks in. Hey, it’s a party in the middle of nowhere with a ton of kids!!
I really liked All the Boys love Mandy Lane. This is a film that could so easily have disappointed, due to the hype behind its lack of availability in the States, yet it did not. Sure, I figured out what was going on, who was behind everything and so forth, but the journey there was damned good fun. It always helps when you get given characters in a horror movie, and not just stereotypes. Yes, there are stereotypes here, but they have character.
If I had to find fault in the film, which slightly took away from my enjoyment, it would be the constant musical interruptions. We don’t need a bloody song every five minutes, thank you very much. Aside from that, I like Levine’s directing style, it’s a fine looking flick and it is not afraid to get its hands dirty.
Was it worth the wait? In my opinion, yes it was, it just clicked with me, and Amber Heard was a delight in the title role.
All the Boys love Mandy Lane is released, finally, by Anchor bay on December 3rd.