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By James Teitelbaum | September 21, 2009

One of the key things about indie film is that by definition, anyone can do it. Pick up a camera and go. With today’s technology, making a movie is easier than ever. However, one of things that film school provides is a team of mentors who can help a young filmmaker understand the difference between creating a film as a learning exercise, and knowing when one has created a film that is ready to be shown to the public. “Cookies and Cream,” at its best, feels like a sophomore student film, and not one that might have been graded particularly well.

Carmen (Jace Nicole) is a Jersey girl living in Brooklyn. She is working as a web cam girl and part-time porn actress. We don’t know how she feels about this, because the script doesn’t tell us, and Nicole refuses to emote on any level. During the first third of the film, she sets up her cam, and meets a guy who turns out to be a jerk. The reason he is a jerk is because he wants to film himself and Carmen having sex. Carmen is offended by this. That, my friends, is fine script writing. The girl who prostitutes herself on camera for a living can’t handle it when her guy gets frisky and wants to bring a camera to bed. Maybe Carmen is offended by this because she doesn’t like bringing her work home with her, but we don’t know for sure how she feels, because, well, the script doesn’t tell us, and Nicole refuses to emote on any level.

There must have been some serious sound issues on location with this film, because the entire film, every word of it, is dubbed, and very badly. In fact, I can’t recall ever having experienced worse dubbing in my life. Ever. Let’s let that sink in for a bit, shall we? While discussing technical issues, I’d like you to open your film production textbooks to Chapter One, and start reading a list of all of the jobs that one can do on a film set. I can’t speculate on the catering in “Cookies and Cream” because I wasn’t there, but everyone else dropped the ball in their work. All of ‘em.

Back to the story: Carmen and her roommate continually lament that all of the men they’re meeting are dirtbags. Well, ladies, there is a certain type of man who has enthusiasm for dating a porn actress and, speaking broadly, these generally aren’t the types of guys who have an extremely healthy attitude towards women. When Carmen meets a milquetoast “nice guy” named Dylan, she goes on a date with him, and this exceedingly dull date takes up a full one-third of the film.

As Carmen bails out of New York with Dylan, off to greener pastures, her roommate decides that her purpose in life, her ultimate destiny, is to become a porno movie producer so that she can bring more equality and respect to women in the porn industry. Good luck with that, sister.

The whole story here is: cam girl finds a nice guy and quits. The end. I’ve just saved you ninety minutes – thank me later.

If you cannot afford film school, at least find yourself a mentor, someone who can look at your work and give you advice about when it is up to a certain minimum standard. “Cookies and Cream” is now out there, in the world, for all (or hopefully few) to see. In our digital age, it will now follow writer/director Princeton Holt around for the rest of his life. I wish the man the very best of luck, and should he hone his craft to the point where he is making worthwhile features, I’d be very interested to see what he thinks of his debut disaster twenty years from now. That’s the lesson for the day – class dismissed.

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