XOXO is worth watching if:
- You’re a young teen obsessed with EDM.
- You’re in love with someone from the cast.
- You want an education on rave culture.
XOXO is not worth watching if:
- You’re looking for a good story.
- You’re looking for interesting characters.
- You hate electronic dance music and the culture around it.
- Features the occasionally cool animation or graphic.
- Sometimes has a catchy song.
- Fairly accurate depiction of a rave festival.
- So uninteresting at times it’s almost unwatchable.
- Makes terrible use of its soundtrack.
- No real story or character development.
score: 40% CHILLIN
One sentence story summary: The lives of a budding DJ, his loyal pal, a hopeless romantic, a jaded has-been and a troubled couple intersect at an electronic dance music festival.
Having trouble deciding whether to hit up a rave or just watch a movie tonight? Well, why not both?
We’ll tell you why not. Because although the Netflix Original film XOXO does a fine job at capturing the EDM festival atmosphere, this is not a performance you should get excited for.
Most people will find it near-impossible to make it through the film’s first 40 minutes, where rookie director Christopher Louie’s inexperience shows, as he is unable to make you interested in any of the film’s characters or its plot.
While the movie nails the EDM vibe in a lot of ways, it is also riddled with several annoying elements that kill the mood.
Example; while ravers can be crazy, I’m not sure you’ll ever see a bus full of people unironically chant EAT, SLEEP, RAVE, REPEAT as loud as they can while driving towards a music festival.
The film is filled with moments like this that will make most EDM fans cringe, and for those totally clueless about electronic music who just turned on XOXO to watch a drama, the only ‘drop’ you’ll be hoping for is one involving your Internet that saves you from your streaming mistake.
It has a couple interesting moments featuring some psychedelic effects, but it’s not enough to save the bad trip.
While it makes sense for XOXO to feature a lot of electronic music in its soundtrack, it’s overused in a tacky background music kind of a way that feels like its serving as makeup for the terrible scenes happening in front of your eyes.
If you just came to see hilarious comedian and podcaster Chris D’Elia in an acting role, don’t get too excited. It’s novel to see him, but he doesn’t really have much to work with. (We think he’d actually make fun of this movie and his role in it if he was being honest)
We appreciate XOXO‘s vision of trying to be a fast-paced film that emulates the music festival experience, but unfortunately, it plays like a bad remix.