Reviewed by Juanvasquez
Given the title, and the fact it’s billed as a sex comedy, the preconception could be that Nipples and Palm Trees, sounds like a cheap cable TV late night movie of the week or American Pie-esque farce. And while that’s not neccesseraly a bad thing, the film certainly came as something of a surprise. Down on his luck artist Jackson, in a rut, having had his heart broken by his ex girlfriend and stuck in a dead end job, decides to ease the pain with booze, weed and women. The latter however, proves a lot tougher than he bargained for. He has no problems when it comes to chatting up the ladies, but the ladies he chats up, seem to have some more than unusual habits. These range from getting their kicks from over aggressive sex, to a woman who enjoys more than one man. At once.
While there are some amusing situations along with some great sight gags, it’s not a laugh a minute comedy as you’d expect, but in fact, a sometimes heartfelt comedy-drama about a guy on the rebound. While at first, Jackson comes across as an almost loathsome character, as the non-linear story becomes more apparent, the more you come to sympathise with him, and at times he actually comes over as pretty cool. The direction is nothing short of superb, bringing out not just the best in the characters, but the character of the city as well. Making the beautiful look bleak, and showing off LA as nothing but a series of grim buildings and stores.
Nipples and Palm Trees is definitely a film worthy of attention. Its wonderfully downbeat tone, combined with the excellent lead performance, really makes for a satisfyingly different experience in the sub-genre. Forget any impressions you get from the films title, this is an amusingly bizarre story with a sting in the tail. For me, quite possibly the biggest surprise of the year.
Nipples and Palm Trees is available on R1 DVD now. www.nipplesandpalmtrees.com