This idiotic crime comedy begins as a heated Sophia Petrillo flashback—picture it, Sicily 1911, during which time the fictional painter Antonio Fraccini (Bruno Lastra) loses his painting box after trying to dodge thugs sent after him by his curvy girlfriend’s father—only to continue as a lobotomized Guy Ritchie caper, with Matthew Rhys playing a loser trying to weasel out of a give-me-my-money-or-else predicament for reasons unimportant to the film. Rhys talks faster than Richard Janes can direct, which means if the actor’s grating performance isn’t your cup of tea and crumpets, you’re fresh out of luck. Everything in the film is an unearned contrivance that must be accepted at face value, from Nick’s (Rhys) attraction to the stone-cold barmaid Eve (Kate Ashfield) to her brother Tony’s (Tony Evans) uncanny ability to channel the artistic spirit of Fraccini when Nick, in order to pay off his debts, asks his friend to make dupes of one of the artist’s sketches. Cutesiness ensues when the trio tries to sell the dupes to a group of horny art dealers, all in the same morning and with none of their victims knowing. Art experts have a hard time telling the real Fraccini from the fakes, but no one will mistake Fakers for either the 1968 or 1999 edition of The Thomas Crown Affair.
Score:Cast: Matthew Rhys, Kate Ashfield, Tom Chambers, Tony Haygarth, Art Malik, Rula Lenska, Edward Hibbert, Paul Clayton, Larry Lamb, Jonathan Cecil Director: Richard Janes Screenwriter: Paul Gerstenberger Distributor: Indican Pictures Running Time: 85 min Rating: NR Year: 2004 Buy: Video