Honey, I Sent the Men to the Moon

A broad farcical fantasy about what happens when the world is rid of testosterone-bearers, "Honey, I Sent the Men to the Moon" squeaks by fairly painlessly on sheer silliness rather than any particular wit or pointedness. English-language Spanish feature has incidental lesbian content, making pic less likely to find a target aud offshore.

With:
Gorgeous Genovese ..... Cookie Rufino Becky Jarman ..... Claudia Carasso Rosa Bosch ..... Marta Balletbo-Coll Nettie Zuloaga ..... Desi del Valle Parker ..... Laura Schrok David Leboucher ..... Emili Remolins (English dialogue)

A broad farcical fantasy about what happens when the world is rid of testosterone-bearers, “Honey, I Sent the Men to the Moon” squeaks by fairly painlessly on sheer silliness rather than any particular wit or pointedness. Unlike co-helmer Marta Balletbo-Coll’s prior “Costa Brava,” this English-language Spanish feature has incidental lesbian content, making middling pic less likely to find a target aud offshore.

In rather sloppy screenplay’s premise, Rosa (Balletbo-Coll) is an engineer at Wondernapking, a sanitary-pad manufacturer. Sales are down, her friends are getting laid off; the boss offers a massive bonus to anyone who can move 1 billion units in three months. Rosa has a brainstorm: Since women are having shorter menstrual periods due to the stress and discrimination of a male-dominated world, why not get them back to full cycle by making men “disappear”?

Conveniently, she learns about the MacGuffin Effect, wherein radiation exposure “gamma-transposes” men — poof! they’re gone, to God knows where. Contaminating the world’s supply of toothpaste, she indeed makes all males vanish into thin air, while pals Becky (Claudia Carasso) and Gorgeous (Cookie Rufino) help mastermind the Wondernapking’s market resurgence.

Meanwhile, their friend Nettie (Desi del Valle) is busy researching the cause and whereabouts of this mass man-migration, under pressure from a U.S. government agent (Laura Schrok). Will they reverse the phenomenon before Rosa’s 90-day deadline arrives?

Though we’re told that civilization immediately enjoys an end to war, political corruption and other ills, pic doesn’t really mine the imaginative possibilities of a man-free planet, focusing instead on much frantic, not particularly funny intrigue. Best running gag is appearances by the Intl. Ladies Sewing Circle, a motorcycle-riding “terrorist” group that advocates keeping men in interplanetary exile.

Director-scenarists Balletbo-Coll and Ana Simon Cerezo throw in whatever comes to mind — slapstick, silly costumes, silent-film-type intertitles — but it all seems more arbitrarily goofy than inspired. Performances are likewise on the broad side, and too many scenes are played with everyone nattering on simultaneously. That worked for the Marx Brothers; it doesn’t work so well here.

Though material is weak, energy is high and bright lensing keeps the amiably scattershot nonsense watchable. Notable for sheer shamelessness are the unending plugs for airline TWA, presumably a production participant.

Honey, I Sent the Men to the Moon

Spain

Production: A Costa Brava Films S.L. production. Produced, directed, written by Marta Balletbo-Coll, Ana Simon Cerezo.

Crew: Camera (color), Sergi Gallardo; editors, Alfredo Blasco, Pere Abadal; music, Emili Remolins, Xavier Martorell, David Siscarf, Alberto Fernandez; art director, Marta Espinach; costumes, Ricard Baldellon; sound (Dolby), Xavier Berruzeo; assistant director, Celeste Carrasco. Reviewed at San Francisco Lesbian & Gay Film Festival, June 23, 1998. Running time: 80 MIN.

With: Gorgeous Genovese ..... Cookie Rufino Becky Jarman ..... Claudia Carasso Rosa Bosch ..... Marta Balletbo-Coll Nettie Zuloaga ..... Desi del Valle Parker ..... Laura Schrok David Leboucher ..... Emili Remolins (English dialogue)

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