THE BIG BAD SWIM -- the first full-length feature from director Ishai Setton and writer Daniel Schechter, you approach any later of their work with some trepidation. Sure enough, nothing has quite lived up to the enormous achievement of that initial movie. New to Netflix streaming, however, and worth a watch for its fast pace, sometimes smart dialog and mostly excellent performances, even if it doesn't hold a candle to "Swim," THE KITCHEN is the latest rom-com ensemble work form Mr. Setton, this time featuring with a screenplay by Jim Beggarly, who last year gave us the smarter and better Free Samples.
Jess Weixler (who also appeared in Swim), an actress who can easily keep that focus. In this latest movie, this is more difficult because the film-making team keeps shifting from person to person and back again, with a cast that includes at least a dozen, would-be important characters, all vying for your interest and time in a movie that lasts but 78 minutes.
Laura Prepon (above, left, and below, right), whose birthday it is today, with a big party organized for the occasion, even though she has just broken up with her boyfriend of two or three years (Bryan Greenberg, above, right) because he's been cheating on her. Just how and with whom becomes more and more apparent as the party movies along.
Dreama Walker, above, left, and below, right) has her own surprise up her sleeve (or under her midriff), and she in turn is lusted after by a young man called Kenny (Tate Ellington). Kenny & Penny: awww, that's so sweet!
Pepper Binkley, left, and Amber Stevens, right.)
Matt Bush, above, left) and friend-of-a-friend named Nikki (Jillian Clare), being kissed against the kitchen shelving, below.
Netflix streaming, Amazon Instant Video, and via DVD.