Last year critics and audiences adored both Black Swan and The Social Network, so it was only a matter of time before someone combined the ballet-themed psychodrama and the Facebook biopic into a dubious pitch that makes absolutely zero sense. Today it’s the studio executives behind XOXO who have claimed that honor (unless it's totally the L.A. Times' fault), touting the new screenplay from Black Swan writer Mark Heyman as an “upscale genre story about a complicated relationship” just like Heyman’s earlier worldwide hit, while also playing up the Facebook angle as an implicit nod to The Social Network. Of course, what XOXO really sounds like is a standard social networking play on Fatal Attraction, concerning a twentysomething man who finds himself being stalked by an obsessive female online friend. And of course, they already made that movie, it was called Swimfan, and it wasn’t that great.
Still, Heyman’s a classier act, so we suppose XOXO could rise above its generic plot—and already he’s planning to eliminate the standard tedium of a thriller told through typing by imagining the film’s digital interactions as “stylized visual sequences.” So maybe throw Lawnmower Man in there along with the other comparisons being made, which also includes the 2010 documentary Catfish. If only they could find a way to work in The King’s Speech, they might really have something. Perhaps one of those “stylized interactions” could take place in early-20th-century England?
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