Saturday, August 3, 2013

On DVD, digital and showing tonight only in Fort Lauderdale: Zachary Weil's TASTE IT!

A first full-length film that came to TrustMovies' attention via Zachary Weil, the filmmaker himself (shown just below), TASTE IT: A Comedy About the Recession is having a one-performance showing at 10pm tonight at the Cinema Paradiso in Fort Lauderdale, having made its DVD and digital platform debut last month. Produced for only $30,000, the movie looks pretty damn professional, considering, and features several good performances.

Taste It begins on a high note, with a cute, original and funny/sweet scene of early morning lovemaking, with both situation and dialog quite up to snuff. The next few scenes are equally well done, and it looks as if we're in for some good fun regarding our country's -- hell, most of the world's -- current economic situation. If only. The movie never completely disintegrates, but as it moves along, it seems to give in far too easily to its most crass and over-the-top leanings.

But let's start with the good stuff: Weil has cast his film, with one exception, quite well. His two leads are played by very attractive performers who can also act: John McGlothlin (shown above and at center in the photo at bottom) as our put-upon hero and -- making her screen debut -- former Playboy playmate from August 2010, Francesco Frigo. Ms Frigo, below, is required to do little but smile and speak and finally kiss and neck, but she does it all quite nicely and looks very good doing it. (Although the question must be asked: are there no young women in the Miami/Fort Lauderdale area with bodies remaining at all natural, particularly in the boobs department? The ladies in this film are so oversized and stuffed that they look like they all came from the same implant facility. Maybe they did.)

The one major mis-casting coup is having the film's co-screenwriter, Adam Chefitz, play -- with little comedy charisma and way too broadly -- the hero's best friend, Wally. Chefitz's performance is so loud, crass and over-the-top that you'll occasionally want to grab a brick to put him out of his (and your) misery. The worst offense is having him sing, below and barely professionally, an entire rock song -- which I believe he co-wrote and will remind you perhaps a little too much of a better song, Jump! -- which literally stops the movie in its tracks.

Turns out the film has its own villain (played super-sneeringly by Blake Logan, below) who is rich and entitled and keeps popping up to do damage. The best acting job by far is delivered by a fellow named Andrew Roth -- he's loose, relaxed and utterly believable moment-to-moment -- who plays the manager of the club/bar/
restaurant where our group hangs out. The plot's twists and turns, all taking our hero toward not just doing the right thing but doing what he really wants, are standard stuff, in which everything good happens far too easily, and, for that matter, everything bad, too.

There is the de regueur scene of a misunderstanding arising from overhearing a situation without actually seeing it, too -- after which the girls imagine that the guys are gay. Well, at least the film gets credit for being inclusive: blacks and gays get their day in the sun, as another of our hero's pals discovers his true calling as he's being screwed at the hands of a would-be girlfriend by a very odd and super-sized dildo. (The movie is R-rated, of course.)

In other, more talented hands, all this might have been more fun, instead of merely serviceable. On the other hand, this is Mr. Weil's first full-length film, and by that standard, the guy has achieved something that looks professional, adheres to the feel-good agenda, and should please undiscriminating tastes. We'll see what the filmmaker comes up with next time. Meanwhile, if you're not in the Fort Lauderdale area tonight for the 10pm show, you can find out how to order the DVD or a streaming screening via Chill and/or Amazon by clicking here.

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