Friday, October 21, 2016

Vanity, thy name is Lynne Alana Delaney and/or THE REMAKE. Take your pick.

Normally, TrustMovies does not mark a film with the term "vanity production." But when the movie in question is written, directed and produced by and has as its star the very same person (who also had a hand in the film's casting, production design, set decoration, and even the costume and wardrobe departments), one begins to suspect.

Now, I realize that some of that heavy work load may be due to a small budget, so I must give Lynne Alana Delaney (at left, above, and on poster, top) the benefit of that doubt. Otherwise, this woman must take responsibility for handing us THE REMAKE, one of the most obvious, by-the-numbers, what-a-surprise (not), senior-style rom-coms in a very long while. This is too bad for a couple of reasons: One, the movie will bore anyone who wants even the tiniest challenge and genuine surprise; two, its premise is really not bad. In other hands it might have been stylish fun.

That premise is this: A down-on-his-luck Hollywood director seeks to reunite the two actors who starred in his big hit a few decades ago. The problem is that, soon after this, the male actor (Ruben Roberto Gomez, at right in the two photos and poster, above) stood up his co-star at the altar, and the two have not seen nor spoken since.

In the meantime the woman married, raised a daughter (the lovely Tessa Munroe, above, right) and had a decent career, while the man went back to Italy and nursed his wounds. What really happened seems to take an eternity to unfurl here, though the film lasts only 97 minutes. Further it repeats itself unnecessarily (we get it, we get it) and its couple of big would-be surprises telegraph themselves a mile or two away.

So we're left with the writing and direction (perfunctory at best) and the performances, most of which are OK -- with the exception of Ms Delaney herself, who bugs her eyes, overdoes things and wears too much make-up. She is an attractive woman and is probably talented but perhaps has simply taken on way too much here.

In the supporting cast are old-timers like Sally Kellerman (the blond at far left, above, and always fun to watch), Patrika Darbo (near left, above), and especially June Lockhart (shown at bottom, left), who plays one of the nastiest and most clueless grandmothers to be seen in some time. (And, yes, the movie even includes a cameo by Larry King, below.)

And that's about it. Considering that this movie is supposed to be about the remake of an old film, we see almost nothing of that film itself, but spend most of our time on the same old boring romantic problems that seem so obviously fixable -- if only certain people would just talk to each other. Ah, well: How, then, would all these crummy roms-coms and situations comedies exist to reach their foregone conclusions?

Opening today, so far as we know, at a single theater in the Los Angeles area (Laemmle's Moncia Film Center), The Remake will maybe eventually make its way onto DVD or streaming, where, if you don't live in L.A. area, you can still see it and judge for yourself. 

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