All of the characters in the film are given scripts that they are unable to naturally perform. Almost every moment of dialogue feels inauthentically synthesized by the actors. I cannot really tell if the problem is the script or the cast, but something did not mesh well in the film's creation. Another problem is the juggling of six characters in a 1 hour and 32 minute movie. It's hard to develop that many characters in such a short amount of time. This short amount of time for each character makes them all unrealistic and fake. Graham Phillips (Evan Almighty) and Sarah Hyland (Modern Family) lead the cast with potential, but largely miss the bullseye of acting as well-written characters. Towards the end of the film, each of the characters go through some sort of resolution. Yet, the process of moving towards the resolution is so swift that we only get a glimpse of each character every five minutes or so. Christopher Louie (Death Cab for Cutie: Grapevine Fires) directs XOXO as if he is trying to give it as much impact as Crash had on moviegoers. Falling flat, XOXO disengages from character development so that everyone can live happily ever after.
As an EDM culture film, it is important to recognize the costuming and neon lighting used for the setting. All of the costuming is stereotypical of a rave, with butterfly wings and multi-colored lipstick. There is only one character dressed in what you might see when you walk down the street. The costuming is often alarming and abruptly sexual, but definitely fitting for the film's setting. The neon lighting at the festival is sleek and attractive, giving the audience a taste of the craziness involved with setting up a DJ's stage. The music also fits the film, featuring a lot of EDM tracks for audiences to hear. Basically all of the technical aspects are fitting, but still feel placed in a fake world with fake people. Louie might have wanted it this way, but I want to see more authenticity in these types of films.
The Bottom Line: Escaping to this rave might leave you lost and distanced from reality.
Image credit: By Rick Doble - Own work, GFDL, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=24859006