Monday, October 10, 2011

Cautionary tale for dummies: Lazar-Lea & Del Prete's THE TRUTH ABOUT ANGELS

Just what is THE TRUTH ABOUT ANGELS? After watching the straight-to-DVD movie co-written (with its star and producer, Antonio Del Prete) and directed by Lichelli Lazar-Lea (shown below), I don't have a clue. I don't even know who the angels are. Unless the title refers to Los Angeles, where the film takes place. Even then, this "truth" would be applicable only to the supposedly rich-and-famous characters who -- with the exception of the artist named Pablo (Del Prete), a "regular guy" being tempted by the naughty r-&-f's -- populate this exceedingly silly little movie that has, however, an interesting idea at its core.

That idea is that there are anything-goes parties being organized for the Southern California "in crowd" who want to play hot-and-hard but do not want any journalists or paparazzi around to shoot and report on them. Where such a party takes place and how it has been organized is brought to somewhat interesting and believable life by the filmmakers, although, on their rather tight budget, both the crowd and the accoutrements look a little skimpy. Still, we could forgive all that if the movie delivered, which it does not.

The set-up, however, hold us for awhile, and the actors on view, particularly Mr. Del Prete, shown above, are attractive and generally presentable, so the movie isn't hard to watch until it "sillies" up beyond measure in time for the finale. (No spoilers here, so I'll just say that, if the party's powers-that-be really needed to keep what happened "under wraps," they could not have picked a stupider manner in which to resolve their problem.)

Along the way we meet a supposedly famous actor (played with not nearly enough charisma, smarts or looks by a fellow named Simon Rex, above, center) and one of his nutty, nasty hangers-on (Michael Azria, below, center). There's also a strange girl with fake eyes (see bottom of post) on display throughout, whom we expect will figure into the mix in some interesting way. (She's a nice visual touch, but don't get your hopes up.)

We also get a couple of scenes of our hero's home life, with wife (Monique Gabriela Curnen, below, center) and new baby, and in terms of acting honors, Ms Curnen walks away with the film, even though what her character has to tell us is fairly standard stuff.

The latest among the Hemingway dynasty (Dree, below) makes an appearance halfway along and becomes the movie's game-changer. Ms Hemingway is very pretty and, considering her rather circumscribed role (she's high throughout), manages to make something of an impression.

It's clear here that the filmmakers want to provide us with a cautionary tale about how the allure of fame and fortune can obscure the important things in life (love, family, you know the routine). But the manner in which they shovel this down our throats is likely to make many movie-watchers gag, or at least laugh. (This is especially true in the case of Del Prete's final, dramatic scene -- which is likely to produce a guffaw rather than the emotion that is clearly hoped for.) I'm afraid that only the very young or untutored will find The Truth About Angels surprising, provoking -- or truthful.

From Indican Pictures, the film streets this Tuesday, October 11, for sale or rental.

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