While A Girl Walks Into a Bar is not the first film to premiere online for free, it is certainly creating a lot of buzz. It is, after all, "the first major motion picture with a cast of notable stars created exclusively for Web distribution." Sponsored by Lexus CT Hybrid, A Girl Walks Into a Bar has been presented for free on Youtube since its March 11th release date, and had a similar opening weekend (in terms of viewers) to several big box-office films. Because of my fascination with new media and any kind of future that the film industry may have, I decided I had to see it, without any real knowledge of the plot. That's always a fairly interesting way to see a movie, because everything is a surprise: even the reveal of the genre.
A Girl Walks Into a Bar is a film that could fairly easily have been a theatrical release. But in this modern age, it doesn't really need to be released theatrically. Lexus gave them a hefty advertising deal and they're doing just fine. No need for theaters or movie tickets, and pirating this film would be completely pointless, so they aren't likely to lose any views. I predict that the success that this film has seen will set a precedent for future movies. Maybe not immediately, but at some point. I mean, I never even saw this film advertised leading up to its release, I heard about it for the first time in my lighting class. So with a little more advertising, imagine what this business model could produce. And I'm sure Lexus and other big-time sponsors will be encouraged to help out with future projects such as this, after seeing how well this one did.
Now the film itself is a fairly low-budget concept, in fact, it's the type of film I might have come up with for a student project (because my projects always center around trying to make a cheap, location-easy film). But they did get some fairly big-name stars for this feature and the writing itself is ace, often reminiscent of Tarantino, but with slightly more realism.
While set in the big city, this film doesn't use the "big city streets" look that so many modern movies set at night do. Instead, it opts for what is almost a neo-noir look, and utilizes realistic bar lighting. Even when the dialogue isn't reminding me of Death Proof, it is poignant and sweet. There were a few moments I thought were a bit off, and some choices that I think were slight mistakes, but the acting, for the most part, was superb. Being a character-driven, dialogue-driven piece, this film is an actor's paradise, relying on their performances to keep you watching.
If I have one real complaint, it's that the film seems to end quite abruptly. But I suppose that, being an internet-based film, they are catering to shorter attention spans, so it is shorter than I expected. In any case, I recommend checking this film out. After all, it's free and it's funny.
Watch this film at: http://www.youtube.com/ytscreeningroom