Okeeeey dokey. Sofia Coppola sure has her thing, doesn't she? It's like, yes, Sofia. We catch your drift. Being rich is hard. Being famous is hard. Being attractive is hard. Being rich and famous and attractive all at once is so hard that you have built an entire career making one movie after another about its terrible, terrible hardness.
Somewhere, regrettably but unsurprisingly, is that same old yarn all over again—artfully crafted, intermittently amusing, relentlessly self-indulgent, and structurally identical to Lost in Translation. You've got your malaisical older male movie star (Stephen Dorff), your wiser-than-her-years younger female person (Elle Fanning), your unsubtitled foreign land (Italy), your humiliating press junkets, your vapid Hollywood bimbos, the false warmth of a hotel (Dorff's character lives at the Chateau Marmont—never a good sign), Rock Band instead of karaoke (gotta stay current), and even an updated version of that sad, empty phone conversation Scarlett Johansson has with her friend back home when she talks about going to a shrine and not feeling anything and her friend just can't be bothered to comprehend (the new version: "I'm fucking nothing. I'm not even a person." "Why don't you try volunteering or something?"). It's the samiest same-same that ever samed. But what's missing from Somewhere is Translation's affecting, any-port-in-a-storm resignation, the unassailable melancholic charm of Bill Murray, and that minty-fresh feeling that you haven't already fucking seen this movie when it was better and called Lost in Translation.
It's also clunkingly literal. Coppola opens the film with a scene in which Dorff drives his fancy Ferrari around and around and around in a circle in the dirty desert—the camera low and drawn back so that his speed appears slow and static. Get it? Luxury equals boredom. Fast equals slow. Driving in circles. Literally. Ferrari. Circles. Circles. Literally. In the end (spoi—zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz), Dorff marches toward the horizon in a straight line. Where is he going? Oh, I don't know... maybe... SOMEWHERE!?!?
Somewhere is a movie made by a famous person from a famous family about how hard it is to be famous. To be honest, despite what you might think from the above, I didn't actually mind watching it. There are some funny gags and that baby Fanning is a charmer. I just don't understand why it needs to exist. Psst! Sofia! Pro tip: Make a new movie next time! It is literally your job! I know from your movies that you think having a job is tedious, but everyone's job is tedious—THAT'S WHY IT'S A JOB. AND BTW, IT'S NOT LIKE YOU WORK IN A QUARRY OR SOMETHING. COMPLAIN TO ME WHEN YOU CATCH BLACK LUNG IN THE CRAFT SERVICES TENT. Jesus.