Jessica Szohr: 'Art Machine' Review

Review: Art World Comedy 'Art Machine' Starring Joseph Cross And Jessica Szohr

Conveniently, one of those artists happens to be young, attractive and available Cassandra. She’s played by Jessica Szohr, one of the stars of “Gossip Girl,” who has grown up to be less conventionally pretty in a generic Hollywood sense, but still breathtaking in a more worldly manner. Her eyes tell lies and her lips seem poised to say something romantic at every turn. It is unfortunate that her Cassandra is in the Manic Pixie Dreamgirl neighborhood, as there are interesting touches to her character, like a wavering devotion to her “artistic integrity,” but she’s mainly been designed as a device to bring the lead character out of his shell. Cassandra is also a pyrotechnic artist, but a late-film accident betrays both the character and Szohr’s obvious intelligence. She’s got the sort of presence that makes you wish Hollywood would cast her as something other than “The Girl,” and yet, here we are.

After a shocking late-film event (teased in the first scene), you kind of wish there was a third act to build on it. “Art Machine” ultimately doesn’t have the balls to go there, feeling like an interesting, unfinished pilot for a cable show that needed to add some “fucks” so it didn’t seem like it was for kids.

The movie was filmed back in 2010!

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