The Seven Faces Of Jane is an interesting concept on paper, but the conflicting visions of the directors make it confusing and disjointed. Still, Gillian Jacobs is wonderful.
The Seven Faces Of Jane takes one movie and splits it into seven segments that are each directed by a different person. In the first scene Jane drops her young daughter, Molly, off at summer camp for a week, and what follows is a strange summary of the days following that, until she eventually picks her up from camp. She crosses paths with exes, picks up a hitchhiker, and even goes to therapy. There is a lot going on here, and it is often hard to follow.
While the concept is certainly interesting, it is quite apparent that the different directors had zero idea what the others were up to. In theory, this is a fun experiment but in actuality it creates a very jarring and incohesive film. There are pieces of a complete story here, but it never fully comes together.
In fact, by the end of the movie, it feels like too much happened, but also nothing happened. It is a weird, twisted, and bizarre plot, which is often right up my alley. The biggest issue here is that the segments never connect in a way that makes sense. It plays like an anthology of sorts, and the fact that it is supposed to take place over one week doesn’t actually make sense. Each story is so vastly different, that even the main character of Jane feels like a whole new character as each piece of the puzzle plays out.
That being said, Gillian Jacobs (who stars as Jane) is wonderful. She does a great job of taking direction from the directors, and essentially becoming someone new each time Jane transitions to a new part of the story. It is clear she dove right into the role, and didn’t give anything away to the director as to where Jane’s journey has taken her so far. Jacobs also directs a segment herself, and her insight into the film and the character of Jane is perhaps what made it the best segment.
Community fans will be thrilled with the reunion between Jacobs and her costar from that show, Joel McHale. The two have not lost their chemistry and it is a complete joy to watch them interact together on screen again. Their story, being one of the better ones.
The Seven Faces Of Jane is almost like a train wreck that you just cannot look away from. It is just interesting enough to keep viewers watching, eager to see where it all is going. The problem lies in the fact that it almost feels pointless when we do eventually get to the end. Things just go more and more off the rails the longer the story goes on. The stories as so vastly different that they just don’t work together, no matter how hard they try.
Overall, the movie is not necessarily bad, but rather a collection of interesting ideas that just don’t work together well. They say you will never know how something will work until you try it, and unfortunately this one just doesn’t work for me. The Seven Faces Of Jane will likely have mixed reactions, with some who really enjoy it and others who don’t. I still highly recommend giving it a shot, much like Jane urges her daughter to do in the movie.
Rating: 2 out of 5
About The Seven Faces Of Jane
Jane drops her daughter off at sleepaway camp and drives away from her mundane life into an exciting odyssey on the road. Jane’s obstacles, connections and moments were created playing an exquisite corpse; seven filmmakers guiding each chapter of Jane’s journey without knowledge of what the others were doing.
Julian Acosta, Xan Cassavetes, Gia Coppola, Ryan Heffington, Boma Iluma, Gillian Jacobs, Ken Jeong, and Alex Takacs, each directed a different segment and Ford Global Brand Entertainment (FGBE) worked with visionary, Roman Coppola to help bring this project to life.
The Seven Faces Of Jane played opening Night Film at the Bentonville Film Festival.
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Tessa Smith is a Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer-approved Film and TV Critic. She is also a Freelance Writer. Tessa has been in the Entertainment writing business for almost ten years and is a member of several Critics Associations including the Critics Choice Association, Hollywood Critics Association, and the Greater Western New York Film Critics Association.