Volume 94, Issue 7
|ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT
Being Whipped isn't much fun
Gazette File Photo
HAVE I EVER TOLD YOU THAT YOU LOOK LIKE BRITNEY SPEARS? Zorie Barber looks lovingly into the eyes of Amanda Peet in the merely average comedy Whipped
Starring: Amanda Peet, Brian Van Holt, Jonathan Abrahams
Directed By: Peter M. Cohen
By Aaron St. John
Over the years, the New York City dating scene has been the subject of countless Hollywood comedies. These movies tend to be from a male point of view and usually come together with some neat and happy ending as the man wins the object of his desire. However,Whipped doesn't follow that formula, making it a refreshing, though not entirely pleasing, addition to the genre.
Whipped focuses on a small group of friends; slimy business guy Brad (Brian Van Holt), artsy Zeke (Zorie Barber) and shy, chronic masturbator Jonathan (Jonathan Abrahams). They deem themselves God's gift to women and gather every Sunday to relate the details of their latest conquests to each other. The film examines what happens when each of the pals fall for the same woman, Mia (Amanda Peet).
Of course, that kind of direct competition puts a massive strain on their friendship, whereby chaos ensues. Things are complicated further when a fourth friend of the hapless trio, the married loser Eric (Judah Domke), sees the harm this romantic mess is causing and tries his best to solve it.
Amanda Peet (The Whole Nine Yards, TV's Jack and Jill), is far and away the best thing about this movie. She brings a certain energy to her role as the object of the men's affection, which makes it entirely believable that she could warrant such passion. Aside from being gorgeous, her deft acting ability and keen sense of timing makes her a pleasure to watch.
Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for the rest of the cast. Other than Abrahams, who regularly appears in skits on Late Night With Conan O'Brien, they are all complete unknowns and with good reason.
Collectively, their performances are the most amateurish and one dimensional that have been seen in a long while. In particular, Zorie Barber, is absolutely dreadful. He seems to think that acting means making ridiculously over-expressive facial gestures and constantly raising your voice.
It doesn't help matters any that not a single character in Whipped can be deemed appealing. They are all, Peet's character included, self-centred, boorish people who are impossible to sympathize with. First time writer/director Peter M. Cohen clearly doesn't realize that for this kind of film to work, it is necessary for the audience to care about at least one of the characters.
But Whipped does have its moments. There are some extremely funny sequences scattered throughout the film (particularly, a scene in which one of the guys plays with a vibrator) and much of the dialogue is razor sharp. Unfortunately, these moments are not enough to sustain a film with such a thin plot and so many other troubles stacked against it.
Don't waste your time with this film. Whipped is the kind of movie for which Blockbuster nights were made.
Copyright © The Gazette 2000