Everyone craps their pants at least once or twice in their life. It’s an embarrassing situation and you can only hope that your misadventure remains out of the public eye as much as possible. With “Art School Confidential,” Terry Zwigoff has crapped his pants and the stench will spread throughout art house cinemas all over the country. We still love you, Terry. Happens to the best of us. But, man, what a stinky load. Someone get the hose.
Based on a comic strip by Daniel Clowes, “Art School Confidential” looks at life on an art school campus, focusing mostly on freshman Jerome who intends on becoming the greatest artist of the 21st century, however, he’s not finding a whole lot of success as his true drawing talent is ignored in favor for typical art student masturbation as they explore their “personal expression,” often leading to simply destroyed canvases. Jerome’s luck in love isn’t all that great either as the girl he’s fallen for has taken interest in one of his fellow students, a hack painter with social problems – go figure. Oh yeah, and there’s a serial killer wandering the campus, too.
The people that are going to get anything out of this film at all are those that have done some time on an art school campus. “Art School Confidential” is best when it’s skewering art school cliches. Other than that, the film is all over the place. It’s a look at art school life. It’s a love story. It’s a coming of age tale. It’s a serial killer murder mystery. None of these themes fit together and it makes for a really disjointed, confusing watch. Add some not so memorable characters and what we have here is just a big waste.