As if Igby Goes Down wasn’t enough, here’s more cruel behavior disguised as boldness. Patrick Breen’s script for Just a Kiss is a 30-minute portraiture of happenstance stretched to an impossibly long 90. Halley (Kyra Sedgwick) sleeps with heavy-enunciator Andre (Tayle Diggs) when she discovers boyfriend Dag (Ron Eldard) is fucking suicidal dancer Rebecca (Marley Shelton), whose teacher/mother demands to see her boyfriend’s testicles when he defies her fury. Said balls belong to commercial thespian Pete (Breen), who leaves Rebecca behind only to hop on a plane to nowhere-but-down with Andre’s girlfriend Colleen (Sarita Choudhury). As hub in this wheel of serendipitous terror, Marisa Tomei kicks things into giddy high gear as Paula a pathological bowling alley bartender. At once nasty (imagine Deconstructing Harry‘s worst gags together again) and overly familiar (characters speak privacies in shouting distance of elevator patrons and hospital patients), Breen’s jokes are thrown at the screen with the hope that something will stick. When Andre attempts to choke Pete, his wail call (“I’ll kill you!”) is liable to make Simpson fans cringe. And if the film’s plane crash wasn’t offensive enough, the only survivors carry first class tickets. Seemingly disgusted with the lazy material and the finished product’s unshapely look, director Fisher Stevens inexplicably dips key moments from the film in Waking Life water colors. The overall effect is not unlike an acid flashback.
- Paramount Classics
- 89 min
- Fisher Stevens
- Patrick Breen
- Ron Eldard, Kyra Sedgwick, Patrick Breen, Marisa Tomei, Marley Shelton, Taye Diggs, Sarita Shoudhury
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