The Netflix Queue: Syrup (2013)
Syrup follows the exploits of the self-monikered Scat (Shiloh Fernandez), an unemployed marketing school graduate with a million dollar idea for a new energy drink. But an idea is worth nothing if you can’t sell it. Enter Six (Amber Heard), a mysterious, intelligent and powerful advertising executive. But apparently Scat’s idea for yet another entrant in a heavily saturated market is so good it’s worth sabotaging friendships for, and when he goes to patent it he discovers someone beat him to the punch – and that someone is his roommate, Sneaky Pete (Kellan Lutz).
Some movies might flesh that out to fill their entire run time. Not Syrup. That’s the first twenty minutes or so, and all it does is set up Scat and Six’s working relationship: after the idea is stolen, she comes to him to help her come up with a cutting edge marketing campaign for the drink.
The movie posits itself as a parody of artificially-produced hype created by market research and force-fed to the public, but the most clever thing about it probably wasn’t intentional: Scat is entirely unconcerned with the flavor of his drink, or even what’s in it. The packaging, and the image they create for it, is everything. That might as well be an analogy for Syrup itself. Six’s monologue about women in business, as cutting and clever as it is, has been circulating the Internet in gif form since the film’s release. It’s clever and quotable, like the rest of the film tries to be, but falls short of somewhere in its Kevin Smith-esque rapid-fire dialogue. There’s a lot of ground covered in its 90-minute runtime, and before you can register that not all of it really makes sense, they’re on to the next plot point. Just go along for the ride, it’s a lot more fun.