Movie Review: Garden of Eden

Friday, December 10, 2010
By Abbey Khan


In Garden of Eden, newlyweds Catherine (Mena Suvari) and David Bourne (Jack Huston) take an extended honeymoon throughout Europe, but it’s not always the two of them. Catherine, a wealthy young socialite, becomes restless and tries to find ways to keep herself busy while David works on his next novel. To spice up her relationship and test David’s love, Catherine befriends the beautiful Italian heiress, Marita (Caterina Murino), to tempt David. Only, Catherine soon learns that threes a crowd.

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The film is set in the jazz age of the 1920s and is an adaptation of Ernest Hemingway’s best selling novel of the same name. The novel, which was published posthumously in 1986 after his suicide, does not fall in line with his other writings, and may even be semi-autobiographical.

Recommendation: C
I can see why Hemingway may not have wanted his novel published when he was still alive due to the intense erotic subject matter– girl-on-girl action and swinging couples– which were not talked about in his time. Yet, the characters in the film are a bit raw as it seems that the director can’t decide whether he wants to push the limits or not. David, an innocent poor writer is a good foil to Catherine, whose wealthy inheritance has allowed her to be carefree and mischievous, but as disturbed as Catherine is, she doesn’t seem dark enough and you just feel sorry for her because she is her own worst enemy.

Garden of Eden is a Roadside Attractions release and is directed by John Irvin. The film opens in select theaters in New York and Los Angeles on December 10, 2010.

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