It's like watching an Emmanuelle film for its dialogue.

“By the Sea” managed to do something that I didn’t think would be possible in 2015. It made “War Room” look slightly competent. I’ve spent the last few weeks trying to boil down my rage into words that when scrawled don’t read “ARRHGHGHAGHGHAHAGH”. Here I am in a brand new year, trying to make sense of the garbage I saw in the last. What is there to say?

Angelina Jolie-Pitt has directed a porn film without the sex. If you dig the dialogue and cinematography of an Emmanuelle film without any of the payoff, then this is your jam. Whenever someone talks about a film being a vanity project, this is the piece of celluloid that you can hold up as an example. Every frame of this shitstack exists to float Jolie-Pitt’s ego, as she wants the world to know she is a serious filmmaker.

Half of the film is nothing but Brad Pitt praising Jolie-Pitt’s ability to exist. The other half is spent being the porn film without the sex. Both of our leads have a vapid glare that only comes from a life spent existing in a vacuum populated with pretty people of lofty opinions. Here’s the big shocker…they have nothing to say. Universal has a right to be angry over this garbage, but they gave it the go-ahead. Everybody loses on this front.


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