Paradise is the excellent directorial debut of Academy Award® winning writer Diablo Cody (Juno, Young Adult) who also wrote this screenplay.
“Here’s your plastic penis full of liquor, enjoy your lifestyle.”
It tells the story of Lamb Mannerheim (Julianne Hough – Safe Haven, Rock of Ages), a God fearing, church going young woman who finds herself reassessing her place in the world after a near fatal plane crash which leaves her terribly burnt, disfigured and reliant on constant medication.
Taken to church by her parents, Doug (Nick Offerman – We’re the Millers) and Melanie (Holly Hunter – Raising Arizona) to testify to the great healing power of the Lord, she instead gives a rather more honest appraisal of her current situation, one which is pretty shocking to the congregation and finalises her plans to leave the small town behind.
Her destination is Las Vegas, Nevada. Armed with a hilarious to-do list of sins, including #1 Sparkle Chest and #6 Tingling Sensation, she sets off into the city in search of a night of debauchery and drinking.
She books into a very swanky hotel suite, buys a tacky t-shirt (#1 Sparkle Chest) and off she goes. At the first bar she enters, she meets up with William (Russell Brand – Forgetting Sarah Marshall), a bartender and Loray (Octavia Spencer – Ugly Betty, Insurgent), an entertainer, who agree to show her how to party in Vegas in hopes of looking after her and keeping her out of trouble.
Paradise is well written with plenty of witty comedy, as you would expect from Diablo Cody. The acting performances are also pretty good, although Russell Brand is a little stilted in places. The characters are well developed and easy to get to know and overall it works very well, dealing with rather difficult subjects in an entertaining and engaging fashion.
It probably won’t set the world on fire, but it’s good fun and well worth having in your collection for a bit of late evening, popcorn eating, fluff watching.
“I’m going to Las Vegas Nevada tomorrow. Where I plan to gamble and dance and drink alcohol and frolic with homosexuals….”
Paradise is available to buy now on DVD.