Review Date:
Director: Edward S. Barkin
Writer: Edward S. Barkin
Producers: Jay Cannold
Steve Parlavecchio
Lisa Lawrence
David Heymann
A rich guy falls in love with a woman who convinces him that a marriage with a pre-nuptial agreement is not one based on “trust”, and then proceeds to divorce the poor schmuck and clean him out. The dude falls on hard times as one thing leads to another, and the next thing you know, he’s in the hospital and looking for that sweet, chocolate revenge. An independent movie production ensues.
It’s tough for me to critique “real” independent movies (the kind that you and a buddy scrounge together) because I always find myself knocking elements that invariably can’t be helped considering the picture’s low-ass budget. In this case, the film was too dark most of the time, scenes felt like they were missing, set onto their own and the acting was a little “off” here and there. All these items are definite booboos, but there are various other elements to movies as well, like the story, the dialogue, the pacing, the directing and all that other stuff which doesn’t necessarily have to do with budget, as much as it does, talent and imagination. Well, unfortunately for these ambitious chaps…I wasn’t particularly impressed with any of those bits either. The premise of this film is probably the only really decent thing here and how the lead character slowly disintegrates into this totally different person, but most of the time, the pacing is questionable, a number of scenes feel redundant and even though the whole shebang only lasts about 85 minutes, it seriously felt like it was over two hours! It also needed more pep, more energy…a stronger pace definitely would’ve helped on that front.

The actors were all okay, best in the bunch being the lead guy’s best friend Ted, who could possibly go on to bigger and better things, as well as the lead himself, Steve Parlavecchio, who’s decent (and looks and sounds like a mix of Paul Walker and Ray Liotta), while everyone else is pretty standard and uncharismatic. I also didn’t entirely “buy” the love story between Parlavecchio and his girlfriend, which is pretty important considering that the whole premise of the movie is based on you believing his love. The dialogue also wasn’t very strong and it certainly didn’t help that the film just kept focusing on one particular bedroom and the dude’s office for the first half hour or so (it was almost as if no one else existed in their world). Another thing which bothered me, but could also be attributed to the mini-budget, is how they would just skip over big events like the actual wedding or court or jail. They would just talk about it afterwards, which obviously isn’t as effective (I wasn’t even sure if they were married at some point, until he called his girlfriend his “wife”) Stuff that “sorta” worked in the movie? Well, I liked some of revenge scenes (but for anyone who digs on shit like that…check out THE WAR OF THE ROSES for the ultimate payback flick!), got a kick out of this one Italian mobster character and the directing was decent, particularly one shot of a dude with a gun against his head. In the end, I think this movie might’ve worked better as a black comedy, but it was nice to see that the writer/director worked out some of his own ex-girlfriend and anger management issues through this. At least…I hope that’s what he did.

(c) 2021 Berge Garabedian