Not Afraid to Say …

Familiarly following in the oft-trod footsteps of Woody Allen and "Seinfeld," writer-director-star Adam Vetri's "Not Afraid to Say ..." is a self-consciously cute romancer abetted by game thesps and burdened by incessantly arch chatter. Pic lacks the needed style and attitude to stand above the crowded indie field but has bubbly tone that will appeal to auds and programmers.

With:
With: Adam Vetri, Chelsea Lagos, Monica Trombetta, Jason Beck, Jim Gaffigan, Royden Mills, Justin Henry.

Familiarly following in the oft-trod footsteps of Woody Allen and “Seinfeld,” writer-director-star Adam Vetri’s “Not Afraid to Say …” is a self-consciously cute romancer abetted by game thesps and burdened by incessantly arch chatter. Full-fledged member of the New York School of Talky Relationship Movies, pic lacks the needed style and attitude to stand above the crowded indie field but has bubbly tone that will appeal to auds and programmers sated with grim low-budget projects.

Envied by pals as having the perfect life, wisecracking Jonny (Vetri) nevertheless lacks a woman. Ignoring the obvious come-ons of gal pal Cheryl (Chelsea Lagos), Jonny is drawn to cigar-smoking Lisa (Monica Trombetta), only to be burned twice by her deceits. Buddies Marc (Jason Beck), Larry (Jim Gaffigan) and Jesse (Royden Mills) are mere strands to Jonny’s story, but all thesps are likably at ease with sitcom dialogue. Tech credits are mediocre, with camera framing sometimes cutting off tops of heads in this talking-heads saga.

Not Afraid to Say ...

Production: An Untitled Prods./Freewheel Prods. presentation. Produced by Michael Reichman, Glen Trotiner, Adam Vetri. Directed, written by Adam Vetri.

With: With: Adam Vetri, Chelsea Lagos, Monica Trombetta, Jason Beck, Jim Gaffigan, Royden Mills, Justin Henry.Camera (color), Oliver Cary; editors, Brian Fasset; production designer, Brigitte Hales; casting, Debra Temco. Reviewed at Dances With Films Festival of the Unknowns (competing), Santa Monica, July 28, 1999. Running time: 89 MIN.

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