Are you lost, baby girl? No, I’m probably just a bad feminist. So sue me. I stumbled upon “365 Days” recently. After hours of work at my desk, I was falling asleep. Time for a break, a nap, a crossword… anything. Because I always delete the newsletters Netflix sends me, and the Twitterverse is not my usual haunt, I’d never heard about the film. Out of ennui, I opened it.
Soon I was in the middle of a softcore porn adventure. I found it perplexing how some of the initial sequences pushed the boundaries between reality and dream. Did or didn’t Laura expose her décolleté in the back of the car? Was or wasn’t Massimo standing behind her several times asking, in his thick Italian accent, “Are you lost, baby girl?”.
The plot is understandably thin. Massimo, a good-looking mafioso, kidnaps Laura, whom he’s obsessed with. He gives her 365 days to fall in love with him – or else: nothing. He’ll let her go. The film has plenty of sex, some BDSM, adventure, gunfights, and what have you. Oh, and great Sicilian scenery. We can feel the sun, bathe in the ocean, walk through the ancient towns, and see Mount Etna in the background. If you’re quarantining at home and can’t get there this summer, you can enjoy Sicily in the film.
But the Boat Scene
That’s one of the most frequent Twitter handles about “365 Days”, usually coupled with a gif of Laura falling off Massimo’s yacht. No one really means Laura plunging into the water, however, but what happens after Massimo rescues her. A seven-minute-long sex scene – someone timed it. (I personally find the sex scene at the end better, but who am I.)
Michele Morrone, who plays Massimo, is also a singer, and wrote several of the songs for the soundtrack. The music is ok for hard rock; the lyrics aren’t standout. My main objection to the songs, however, is that they’re incongruous as underlay for the sex scenes. Whose standpoint do they represent – Massimo’s or Laura’s? The text seems to express Laura’s point of view, but the aggressive, hard-rock style doesn’t fit her. So which is it? Laura or Massimo? A clear one-star rating here.
What did work for me were the opulent clothes-shopping scenes. Who wouldn’t want to be taken on a spree and have someone buy them thousands of dollars’ worth of clothes? Especially when three sullen hunks have to carry all the bags and boxes back home? It’s just fantasy, so why not enjoy it?
People on social media keep requesting a real conversation about everything that’s wrong with this film: kidnapping, rape, Stockholm Syndrome, not-exactly-consensual sex, etc. Yes, the film is very un-PC. But I, for one, would rather save my energy for real-life issues that are not OK than about a fairy tale, which in the end I thought was more-or-less fun. I guess that makes me a bad feminist.
Pleasantly enough, when the film was over, I was more than awake enough to work again. From that perspective, “365 Days” certainly did its purpose.