Screenplay, Casey Peterson. Camera (color) Mark Herzig; sound, Dave Acord; associate producer, Brian Beatty; Reviewed at Newport Film Festival (competing), June 10, 2000. Running time: 93 MIN.
With: Casey Peterson, Jennifer Milmore, Richard Spieght Jr., Gabrielle Anwar, Jim Hanna, Hopwood De Pree.
This prototypical slacker comedy might have made a worthwhile West Coast addition to Kevin Smith’s underemployed-twentysomethings-say-the-darnedest-things genre if it wasn’t almost devoid of funny jokes. “North Beach,” named after a neighborhood in San Francisco, has little plot and features shiftless types who never amount to more than single-word epithets (the lush, the slut, etc.). One feels for the actors, who seem talented but are given nothing to do. Apparently the only people less inspired than the characters are the filmmakers who created them.
The action centers on Tyler (Casey Peterson), a talentless Lothario who beds a stripper before the film begins and then must face the consequences after his pure-of-heart girlfriend finds out. Tyler spends the day at a margarita-soaked pool party and, yawn, fronting a show with his rock band. Characters are merely going through the hipster motions here; they seem to do nothing but drink and talk about sex, but there’s no youthful abandon. Stylistically flat and technically muddled, “North Beach” feels drab, lifeless and so eight-years-ago. After all, Bay Area twentysomethings are now too busy with IPOs and URLs to worry about their friends’ sexual peccadilloes.