In 2020, a Polish erotic romantic drama was released on Netflix, 365 Days; The plot is simple, some chick is kidnapped by a drug dealer and he offers her a deal: If she doesn’t fall in love with him in 365 Days then he’ll set her free. The film was highly popular during its release, even though it has an abysmal 0% rating on rotten tomatoes. Clearly, sex sells. Essentially, 365 Days is a big-budget porno. And there’s nothing wrong with that, so if you had your fun with a bottle of lotion and lube during this film then I’m happy for you. Here’s the problem, this big-budget porno is being promoted as a movie. All the ridiculous and nonsensical crap that you see in pornography can’t be applied to films. It’s storytelling 101, but a film needs a coherent plot, compelling characters, and a strong narrative. However, 365 Days issues are deeper than just a terrible story. Here are the many problems that highlight the issues with films like 365 Days.
It Tries To Romanticize A Clearly Toxic Relationship
365 Days plot works perfectly in pornography. Obviously, the purpose of porn is for sex, thus the story doesn’t have to make sense, nor do the characters. As previously stated, this is packaged as a movie, so it’ll be treated like one. The plot kicks off with Massimo Torricelli kidnapping Laura and forcing her to stay in her dungeon for 365 days, so she can fall in love with him. Do I even need to explain why this is bad? Exactly how is being kidnapped romantic? Aren’t we supposed to be rooting for this couple to get together in this romantic drama? Massimo Torricelli is a deplorable character. It’s not because he is a drug dealer or gangster. It’s the pure fact that he’s holding a woman against her will. The film tries to make it seem like he isn’t too bad of a guy, but his constant threatening and abuse of Laura negates this message (and the kidnapping too). Just like Christian Grey was an absolute psychopath (but a handsome one), the message of this film says that women will overlook a man’s flaws if he’s tall, dark, handsome. Massimo is such an asshole that I want Laura to put a bullet in his head, which clearly isn’t the intention that the filmmakers were looking for.
Laura Is A Horrendous Character
Laura’s character isn’t any better. She’s presented as this strong beautiful woman at the beginning of the film; however, once the kidnapping happens, she simply goes with the flow and accepts her fate. There are one or two attempts at her trying to escape, but they’re very weak. Laura never feels in fear of her life even though this bastard constantly threatens her in the early stages of the movie. Then, she falls in love with her kidnapper. It’s as if 365 Days is trying to make being a victim of abuse look cool and sexy. I know, I know, this film isn’t based on real-life so I shouldn’t compare it; however, most of Laura’s actions are either incompetent or childish. Once she’s kidnapped, she’s no longer the strong beautiful woman that started out in the beginning. She’s beaten down and treated like crap by her future husband, yet this never seems like an issue. Her character is hard to root for because she’s a victim of abuse and embraces it. Does she like being dominated by Massimo early in the film? No. But what exactly is she doing to make sure he doesn’t put her hands on her again? This is supposed to be a romantic drama, yet it comes across as one of Tina Belcher’s erotic journal entries.
The Story Requires A Huge Suspension Of Disbelief
I’ve already trashed on how ridiculous the inciting incident is; however, the film doesn’t get any better. More often than not, the film just feels like an exercise to see them have sex. There doesn’t seem to be any true thought put into the total narrative other than, “What’s the best way to get to this sex scene?”. It tries to be multiple things but fails at everything. We check out some of his life on the drug dealing and gangster side, but it clashes with the overall tone of said film. This is supposed to be an erotic drama, yet it almost dabbles into a violent thriller, that’s never really thrilling. 365 Days is the true example of throwing everything at the wall to see what sticks. You don’t connect with the characters because they’re terrible. You don’t connect with the plot because it’s clear that the filmmakers view the story as secondary to the sex scenes. Somehow, this is worse than 50 Shades of Grey. At least Christian Grey didn’t kidnap Anatasia Steele. This is a horrid movie that sends off the wrong messages by trying to romanticize a deplorable human being’s disgusting behavior. But, at least you had fun with that bottle of lotion and lube, right?