Films like Introducing Jodea have a specific target. I’m not trying to belittle audiences but the reality is romantic comedies are usually designed for achieving a reaction that may be subtle, common or a little louder. In any case, there’s a clever insight element that always must be injected in the plot to awaken the viewer’s attention.
Few of these films can be boring outside of their formulaic standard of a story. We know what we’re getting and we’re waiting for that. Any change could represent a risk that not every film should take.
So when a film of this genre lacks soul, it becomes a rare specimen. Its audience should at least enjoy whatever attempt they’re making. Introducing Jodea is a messy film with a known story: the one about the wannabe actress who becomes Cinderella when she meets a famous director.
The problem isn’t with the story itself. It’s in how the film projects a dull and soulless version of it. It’s literally about Jodea, a struggling actress who decides to participate in a film directed by a man whose latest project is famously bad. They fall in love and the rest is… well, you can imagine. Paparazzis, Hollywood scandals, and dreams that are vanished in the hands of Hollywood greed. And one touching final scene to fix everything. The cure brought to you by Tinseltown’s promise of making it at the end.
The irony of the film is that it starts two leads with a chemistry that’s hard to see but the film’s bearable because of them and their scenes. Introducing Jodea is good only when it stays away from the “bubblegum equation of Hollywood being bad for some and better for others”. In Jodea’s story there’s value, but it’s sharply denigrated by the presence of a terrible character she must interact with. Everything that’s toxic in today’s industry is represented by the director looking for redemption.
Introducing Jodea portrays a woman whose confidence is shattered over and over by an artistic mechanism. If only they had stayed in that territory. The plot continuously twists and heads over to a secondary character that’s supposed to depict the male toxicity in the producer’s side of the industry. It just plays like filling. And it sadly makes the film longer than it has to be. Seriously, editing is always necessary.
Supported by a quite good soundtrack, Introducing Jodea is an indie romantic comedy that misses its marks ferociously. It majorly depends on stereotypes that aren’t even funny when a punchline emerges from the depth of overlong scenes, and the third act is just reminiscent of the same old story, only done better in some other films you may have seen in the past.
Jodea’s story is actually important, and it’s good that films attempt their best to tell those stories of triumph. But it’s time to progress and maybe accept that princesses aren’t always saved by the knight in shiny armor or the blonde prince. It’s uncanny how fear in a character degrades him to be a mere representation of the archetypal Hollywood director that’s spoiled and snobby. Jodea deserves better than this.