Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Prevarication reigns (and rains): Phil Allocco's goofy, funny rom-com, THE TRUTH ABOUT LIES


Though it has been sitting around for two years now, hitting the festival circuit while waiting for release, a rom-com called THE TRUTH ABOUT LIES -- written and directed by Phil Allocco (shown below), who earlier made a name for himself as guitarist in the band, Law & Order  -- turns out to have been worth the wait. The movie is funny, charming and goofy as hell, and it sports a first-rate cast of good-looking actors who also know how to create the proper chemistry together, as well as nailing the humor as easily as the romance. 

You will have to suspend your disbelief a bit at some of the whoppers you'll be asked to accept here, but since Allocco has made his movie all about lying, and his leading man, the hugely under-appreciated comedic hottie, Fran Kranz (shown below in romantic mode and and further below in comedic), handles these lies with such amazing aplomb that, for maximum enjoyment and fun, it's best to simply go along on this wild ride. 

The filmmaker's point would seem to be that we all lie to each other all the time, but if we can just ground those lies in a healthier life style -- a decent job, apartment, mate, diet and more -- then we'll get by just fine. What? How dare he! 

Mr. Allocco dares, all right, and he pretty much gets away with it, too, thanks to some clever writing, decent direction, and the ministrations of his first-rate cast. Mr. Franz has long been one of my favorite rom-com actors, and once again he acquits himself royally. Whether he's falling in love, above, or killing time in the men's room, below, with a couple of rolls of toilet paper, he's alternately sexy and funny and always fun. 

His suddenly former and soon-to-become girlfriends are played by Mary Elizabeth Ellis (below) and Odette Annable (further below), the former with a lot of anger and sass, the latter with such graceful beauty and charm that she'll sweep you off your feet, just as she does our hero his.

Allocco peppers his movie, via title cards, with frequent and often terrific quotes about lies and truth -- and their effect on us all. Many of these quotes are first-rate, and they'll make you think (and laugh) as much as does the movie itself. 

In the supporting cast are other good (and good-looking) performers such as Miles Fisher (below, as Kranz's best friend) and Chris Diamantopoulos (at bottom, playing Annable's husband). 

From time to time the movie will put you in mind of early-Woody Allen. But, hey, early Woody Allen ain't bad. And neither is The Truth About Lies. And if the movie will not set the world on fire (we can leave that to Donald Trump), it's nonetheless a pleasurable enough outing for those who appreciate the rom-com genre.

Opening theatrically in some 25 cities across the country this Friday, October 27 -- in New York City, it hits the Cinema Village; in Los Angeles at Laemmle's Monica Film Center -- the movie, running 94 minutes, will be available digitally, as well. Click here, then click on Screenings in the task bar, to view all currently scheduled playdates, cities and theaters.

2 comments:

heshelman said...

Thanks James this is terrific. We appreciate your support of the film!

James van Maanen said...

Thanks, Henry. Support's not difficult when a film is this much fun -- and also rather daring. Sure, we all lie, but we don't often get it rubbed in our face in quite this way.