REVIEW: XOXO (2016)

Release Poster - Netflix

Release Poster – Netflix

The following is a quick review of XOXO, a Netflix original film.

“Eat. Sleep. Rave. Repeat.” – Let me preface this review by saying that I didn’t want to dislike it, when I pressed play on Netflix. I like Sarah Hyland, and she was why I wanted to watch this film. It looked like We Are Your Friends, which I haven’t heard a lot of good things about, but I kept an open mind. But, no, this definitely wasn’t made for me.

XOXO is named after the festival that the film takes place at. The film follows groups of people going to the aforementioned festival, with the most recognizable faces of the crowd being Chris D’Elia, Ian Anthony Dale, Ryan Hansen, and Sarah Hyland’s characters. It becomes a story about the dangers of the music business and the joy of living in the moment.

I thought XOXO was unpleasant through and through. The music is the only redeeming part of a 90-minute film with characters that aren’t interesting, dizzying lights, and distracting camera movements. Heck, even the many neon-colored text bubbles are distracting and overdone.

The film moves at a breakneck pace early on, and doesn’t really slow down all that much. The lights and colors get more distracting as it moves forward, and I, honestly, never really connected with the film. It was a deeply unpleasant experience that I would have stopped watching after fifteen minutes, if I didn’t have to review it.

For a moment there, I thought Chris D’Elia’s character was going to keep me interested in a film that – to be honest – started to lose me after fifteen minutes, but, for the most part, his was another character with a pretty predictable story. None of the performances really grabbed me, and they give you nothing really all that memorable.

I’ve established that this film didn’t sit right with me at all, so let me just get this out there. I knew this film was going to rub me the wrong way, when Sarah Hyland’s character’s group starts talking about what type of guys will be at the festival. The young women liken the men to types of candy, and Hyland’s character’s line about her soulmate being chocolate was more than I could take.

Honestly, I didn’t always know if I should take this film seriously or not. As the film went on, I kept on asking myself what the hell I was watching. The one thing XOXO has going for it, though, is that the musical soundtrack is pretty good. But XOXO is distracting, dizzying, and pretty unpleasant.

3.5 out of 10

– Jeffrey Rex

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