Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Henry's back (Jaglom variety) with THE M WORD, Tanna Frederick and Michael Imperioli

Here's a new wrinkle in the Jaglom oeuvre: professionalism! Not that Henry's earlier films weren't a lot of fun in their own anything-goes manner, but there is something rather different about his latest movie, THE M WORD. Maybe it's the fact that much of the film takers place in the offices of a west coast indepen-dent TV station, where folk work hard and fast and also seem to enjoy each other's company. At least until the "suits" from the east coast fly in to make some, uh, changes -- at which point egos flare, employment is threatened and, of course, love blooms.

This is yet another of those popular-within-their-niche films that stars Jaglom's ever-expanding stock company, here widening its doors to include the likes of Michael Imperioli. The filmmaker, pictured at right, again uses Tanna Frederick as his leading lady, Moxie, and she turns in a creditable job as the star of the station's popular children's show and a budding documentarian, who's currently making a film about that titular word (no spoiler ahead, as we learn this almost immediately): menopause. As the movie would have it, there has never been any mjaor program aired on the subject, and so the time is now well beyond ripe.

Imperioli (above, right) and Frederick (above, left) play off each other well, and his fish-out-of-water performance certainly fits perfectly into the proceedings. A nice job is also done by Corey Feldman (below) as a sometimes boyfriend of Moxie who means to get ahead in this business one way or another, and by Sharon Angela as one of the station's more cynical bigwigs.

The movie is stolen flat-out by Frances Fisher (below, center), playing Moxie's mom and one of the subjects of the menopause movie. Ms Fisher has enough energy for three actresses -- and enough professionalism to know exactly how to use that energy to best advantage. She's a delight.

Otherwise, if this is not top-tier Jaglom, it's certainly not low-end, either. If it lacks some of the uber-quirkiness that's a hallmark of this filmmaker, for some audiences, the compensation will be the quieter, more professional tone of some of the goings-on. In fact, this might not be a bad movie by which to introduce newcomers to Mr. Jaglom.

The M Word -- from Breaking Glass Pictures and running a little overlong at 117 minutes -- hit the streets on DVD yesterday, July 15, while still playing here in NYC in its theatrical run.

No comments: