Not every book should be made into a movie, and Stars at Noon is one of those books. Based on the novel of the same name by Denis Johnson, Stars at Noon promises sex, intrigue, and a journey through Central America. Instead, the audience is left wanting. Sure, the movie provides a lot of sex scenes, several awkward and linger too long on the screen, but it also gives you a lot of weird sex talk that seems out of place between the small bits of action the film offers.
The movie follows an American Journalist, Trish who is trapped in Nicaragua due to politics. And while the movie claims the character is a journalist, the outlet she wrote for denies she worked there other than for a couple of pieces, which won’t help her and you never see her doing anything as a journalist through the film. Instead, for the majority of the film, Trish meets men, takes money in exchange for sex, and uses her body to get through the story and possibly out of the country. The character is very flat and not well developed. Her career is just a note in the story, and her character is only used to serve the men and the narrative. The actress’s role is really to use her body to push the narrative through, again, not developed or really considered a whole character or person throughout the whole story.
That’s not to say the male characters are given any more development. This is the fatal flaw of the story as a whole – no one is given enough to really be well-developed or actually create a believable character. Trish meets an Englishman, Daniel, whom she instantly trusts and will do anything to protect (more basic writing), and is willing to put her life at risk for. Daniel happily sleeps with Trish while actively talking about his wife. Another completely unlikeable character, and one that isn’t developed or worth risking your life over, let alone wasting your time watching.
We’re not sure if Stars at Noon is directly translated from the book, or if there was (lack of) creative license taken with the characters and story. But for a movie that comes with a runtime of 2 hours and 18 minutes, you would hope there would be one likable character, a story that actually made sense or would make you want to watch the movie again.
STARS AT NOON will be released in theaters and on-demand on Friday, October 14, and will be streaming on Hulu starting Friday, October 28
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About Stars at Noon
A young American journalist (Margaret Qualley) stranded in present-day Nicaragua falls for an enigmatic Englishman (Joe Alwyn) who seems like her best chance of escape. She soon realizes, though, that he may be in even greater danger than she is. Adapted from Denis Johnson’s novel.