The film devotes a lot of time to [Lockwood] braking at stoplights, taking left or right turns, as music—either snippets of classical or the modish rock of the band Spirit—swells on the soundtrack. It luxuriates in the tedium of city traffic.
The movie is a virtual documentary about [Los Angeles], a visual love poem to Demy’s new world. In this regard, it seems to foreshadow the work of Sofia Coppola, whose second feature, “Lost in Translation,” features lots of scenes of Americans driving through Tokyo, and who returned the favor to Los Angeles in her fourth, “Somewhere.” That’s the film that most resembles “Model Shop”—even down to its display of kitschy porn-ish performances behind closed doors.
As their doomed romance waxes and wanes, Model Shop’s trance-like hour and change drifts by like a nap on the beach, gently holding you in a dreamy purgatory of ambient soundscapes, soft boys, and softer palettes.