Some years ago, a Twitter thread of absurd length caught the imagination of social media. It was told by a waitress/stripper.
It had sex, violence and stupidity, so maybe we should have all been prepared for Hollywood seeking it out for adaptation. The film, titled Zola and directed by Janicza Bravo, premiered at Sundance and it is hard to produce the synopsis. Still, we must try.
The black waitress Zola meets a white girl named Jessica and is taken by her. Before long, the latter invites Zola to a getaway for the weekend. They’ll meet ballers and return with cash. The women join two guys on the trip. One of these guys is Jessica’s boyfriend. How this is supposed to work is not anyone’s concern apparently.
Off they go and out comes the craziness. The film deploys a voiceover by Zola over the proceedings. The idea, it seems, is to mimic the voice that captured the imagination online. On the big screen though, it doesn’t quite work after the first few scenes. Whether this is because the medium is different or because the actual tweets aren’t used is unclear.
What is clear is Zola ends up an anticlimax. Films are hardly as necessary as food or clothing, no matter what the cinephiles tell you, but Zola feels extremely unnecessary.