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Trois

Authentically independent in its making and distribution, Rob Hardy's "Trois" is tritely generic as a movie. Repping a notable grassroots effort, Atlanta-based filmmakers refused to accept across-the-board Hollywood rejection slips as a sign to fold their tents and instead self-distributed pic to (thus far) 72 burgs, racking up over $1.4 million. Hardy and Co. have even sealed pic's ancillary life with a deal with Sony for DVD and vid release in November. From onscreen evidence, though, biz acumen far outpaces filmmaking skills, as twisty psycho-thriller is a rough amalgam of creaky plot mechanics, hysterical thesping and mediocre production values.

With:
Jermaine - Gary Dourdan Jasmine - Kenya Moore Jade - Gretchen Palmer Terrance - Soloman K. Smith Thomas - Thom Byrd Tammy - Chrystale Wilson Robert - Bryce Wilson

Authentically independent in its making and distribution, Rob Hardy’s “Trois” is tritely generic as a movie. Repping a notable grassroots effort, Atlanta-based filmmakers refused to accept across-the-board Hollywood rejection slips as a sign to fold their tents and instead self-distributed pic to (thus far) 72 burgs, racking up over $1.4 million. Hardy and Co. have even sealed pic’s ancillary life with a deal with Sony for DVD and vid release in November. From onscreen evidence, though, biz acumen far outpaces filmmaking skills, as twisty psycho-thriller is a rough amalgam of creaky plot mechanics, hysterical thesping and mediocre production values. Remarkably for a project with zero connections to established U.S. indie market scene, it’s already out of the red.

Story’s premise is ancient dictum that you’d better be careful what you wish for. The wishful fool here is rising Atlanta attorney Jermaine (Gary Dourdan), who hopes to spice up his sex life with wife Jasmine (Kenya Moore) by arranging for a threesome. She’s naturally resistant to notion but finally agrees after making him promise that this isn’t about his selfish sexual needs only.

This presents wonderful possibilities for a sex comedy, but Hardy takes it down extremely familiar road of thriller, mixed in with a touch of the soaps (to which overlit pic shot mostly in bland domestic and office interiors bears a stark resemblance).

Jermaine’s lighthearted office buddy Terrance (Soloman K. Smith) hooks him up with alluring Jade (Gretchen Palmer), and Jermaine makes a secret pact with her to pay for menage a trois.

Buildup to excitingly erotic bed troika works up no steam, with pic shifting into purely plot-driven drama as Jade appears to become a wildly loose cannon stalking the marrieds after being rejected for further romps in the sack. Dourdan mostly keeps his cool, but Palmer loses it in an acting display that pushes pic and its increasingly dumb plot into realm of unintended camp.

Tech credits are strictly rudimentary.

Trois

Production: A Rainforest Prods. release in association with TRF Prods. Produced by William Packer. Executive producers, Gabe Group, Eric and Aaron Goowin, Madison Gray. Co-producer, Gregory Anderson. Directed, written by Rob Hardy based on a story by Willpower.

Crew: Camera (Fotokem color), Charles Mills; editor, Griff Thomas; music, Steven Gutheinz; costume designer, Jeanette Guillermo; sound, David Neesley. Reviewed at L.A. Outfest, West Hollywood, July 15, 2000. Running time: 93 MIN.

With: Jermaine - Gary Dourdan Jasmine - Kenya Moore Jade - Gretchen Palmer Terrance - Soloman K. Smith Thomas - Thom Byrd Tammy - Chrystale Wilson Robert - Bryce Wilson

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