Director Lessner posits his film “By Modern Measure” as a cheesy art house romance about two young people finding love with one another after a fateful day… in front of a “Taco Bell,” where eyes meet, and MySpace addresses are exchange. Ah, l’amour.
Juxtaposed with the rising almost cataclysmic world events, Lessner adds a sheer sense idiocy to the “romance” between two modern American kids. Completely void of any responsibility, filled with pretensions, and yet so unaware of how irrelevant they are in a world where genocide and war rages.
Can they overcome their differences in taste preference in Taco Bell meals? Can they conquer the land where they waste the day away by throwing rocks at a Bobcat, and lighting firecrackers? Lessner poses these questions set to hilarious subtitles and monotonous French narration by Argo, who reads along like the narrator to a Fellini film.
Lessner truly knows how to detract any sense of whimsy from the fling of these two ships passing into the night, as the narrator trails off every so often describing a current event, while discussing their argument over Skittles, and how they thought Che Guevera was a revolutionary, even though neither of them knew why.
I loved this film, I laughed the entire time, and for reasons I knew not why. Lessner creates this pompous atmosphere, sets his story down in modern suburbia with two young people and then asks “How can they be so void of priority, when the world is in such peril?” Yet, he does it with a chuckle, and never wags his finger at us.
With a hearty laugh, Lessner makes it perfectly clear. Enjoy boredom and complacency. Most people in foreign countries would kill for it right now. Who cares about all that preachy stuff, I’m in the mood for Snickers!