Thursday, October 10, 2002

Kiss this

Movie: Just a Kiss

Posted on Thu, Oct 10, 2002 at 4:00 AM

Just a Kiss
Length: 1 hour, 29 minutes
Studio: Paramount Classics
Release Date: 2002-10-11
Cast: Marisa Tomei, Kyra Sedgwick, Taye Diggs, Ron Eldard, Marley Shelton
Director: Fisher Stevens
Screenwriter: Patrick Breen
WorkNameSort: Just a Kiss
Our Rating: 1.50

Can't get enough of libidinous young city dwellers? Try this obscenely bad dark comedy, so crass that it makes Edward Burns' "Sidewalks of New York" look like Oscar Wilde. Seven pretty oafs run through cycles of fidelity and betrayal, with instant coitus both the cause of and the solution to their problems. When the movie grows momentarily weary of sex, it turns its attention to the other big "s" -- suicide. There's nothing like a professional dancer's (Marley Shelton) dalliance with a handful of pills to get the paying customers rolling in the aisles.

Trapped in this mess is otherwise capable actor Ron Eldard; Marisa Tomei and Kyra Sedgwick, meanwhile, have finally sunk to their own level. In his first outing as a director, Fisher Stevens (who used to pal around with the robot in the "Short Circuit" movies) shows that he has no idea how long to hold on a shot, and writer Patrick Breen's putrid script reeks of third-string nightclub routines. ("Danger, Will Robinson" and "Ze plane!" are submitted as hip punchlines.) The actual narrative is crammed with so many flashbacks, fantasy sequences and other point-of-view parlor tricks that we have no idea what's really supposed to be happening at any given moment. Brief overlays of "Waking Life"-style animation prove nothing more than momentary distractions from the mounting idiocy. Yes, I said "mounting"; and yes, I just saved you seven bucks.


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