Director Darren Brown has all the ingredients with which to make a Grade-A piece of entertaining trash: handsome but dim leading man, not-so-innocent femme fatale, over-the-top diva, etc. What The Yousers lacks is edge. This is a movie that is desperately crying out for ribald language and skin. While there is some blue talk, the closest we get to actual exposed flesh is Snipe’s butt. At least all those late-night Cinemax movies, while not great art by any stretch, had the balls not to skimp on the sleaze.
Movies like The Yousers demand a certain stylistic gloss and an almost overly polished sheen to highlight the style over the substance, of which there is rarely any. The Yousers doesn’t have much style (in fact, the whole film looks unbelievably cheap) and the sin on display is basically PG-13 (this is the kind of movie that has a strip club as a major location yet none of the strippers take their clothes off). As a result, the movie exists in a sort-of erotic thriller dead zone.
“…a sort-of erotic thriller dead zone.”
There are moments in The Yousers where one can sense a more mature movie peeking through, such as a nice scene between Mariah and Sidney in which Mariah exposes her (false) vulnerability. In most other scenes, however, Brown chooses to have the soundtrack playing in the background rendering it difficult to understand what the characters are saying.
Snipes, while certainly possessing a leading man’s gravitas, doesn’t do much in the way of real acting aside from one facial expression used throughout most of the film. Dahl has the most work cut out for her as Mariah, ping-ponging from faithful to scorned to vindictive and back again. Dahl is game though and gives the barely-playable role her all. By far, the closest thing to a star performance in the movie is from Fears. As Sidney, the actress has an unaffected demeanor and un-actressy air about her that breathes a sense of truth into Sidney. Thus, Sidney is a character that commands our attention and empathy.
But in the end, The Yousers only scratches the surface of the potboiler lurking underneath. With just a little more atmosphere and a little more lewdness, The Yousers could have been a truly trashy guilty pleasure.
"…Tacky movies...are trashy for trashy’s sake."