This brings me to the most unpalatable stereotype: the usually-funny Banks is said good-girl, self-proclaimed and unashamed at first. When her manager leaves her the voicemail about the job of her life, he tells her "All that steadiness [stuff] is finally gonna pay off!" But throughout her five hours running in heels through a crack house, the hooker-ridden underbelly of town, a seedy spa, and straight through the freeway, she makes her good girlness seem pitiful and stunting to her rescue (which eventually comes from Marsden and Jacobs).
It's hardly a spoiler to say that when she's finally back in her news-anchor chair and finds herself reporting her own story, she deviates from what she's told to read to vindicate herself instead. "I shouldn't call this a walk of shame, I'm not ashamed! I don't care what people think anymore, cause that's exhausting . . . I'm not safe and I'm not reliable . . . Just be yourself!" She then gives a shout out to those lovable crack dealers, the only people in L.A. willing to loan her their phones.
Of course, her outburst leads to a new and better job offer, and she walks with Marsden down the sidewalk into an actual sunset.
This quasi-romantic unfunny comedy will probably arrive on Netflix in that section called "Films Featuring a Strong Female Lead." But the film—and the female—are far from strong. Let's leave these actors to their strengths and wait for season six of Community and Pitch Perfect 2, and forget that this one happened.
Banks' best friends talk explicitly about sex. A 12-year old and a cab driver ask Banks for sexual favors (though she does not comply). Marsden and Banks drunkenly eat pizza in their underwear together (you don't see them having sex). Characters sell crack. A bus driver uses violence to get Banks off her bus. Jacobs and the crack dealers cuss periodically. An orthodox Jew has a sexual reaction to seeing Banks stumble into his synagogue.
Taylor Lindsay is a writer in New York City. She was Christianity Today Movies' fall intern and contributes regularly to Indiewire.