Gia Coppola's "Palo Alto" is a mess. A few great shots, but it has no real plot, and the individual stories weave in and out, then apart at the end with none coming to any kind of conclusion. It just seems to try to make a point that all teen boys are obsessed with pot and alcohol, while teenage girls love smoking and fellatio. There is little comment of the morality of the actions of the teens. Everyone knows that person that just never seems to learn from experience, and lacks that voice that steps in to whisper "This probably isn't a good idea". Every character in this movie is like that, even the adults. I feel like I'm dumber for watching it. I don't see this as entirely Coppola's fault. The movie was made from a series of short scripts written by James Franco, who seems to be quite an uninteresting writer by this source material alone.
Because of the Coppola name, it will get mentioned come Oscar time. THAT, would be a travesty. If any awards are handed out, it will be on individual performances alone as an act of sympathy. Val Kilmer's son Jack has a future in movies. And Zoe Levin's performance is subtlety good.
Theater, or wait for DVD? DVD