Simple-minded, sentimentally conceived item about the "little people" is enough to give the working class a bad name, in that practically every character is annoying and is played in an extremely mannered fashion. Despite having won an Audience Award at the Santa Barbara fest, pic's future lies in the discount video bins.

“Bug” is a weak link in the “web of life” mini-genre built around the idea that everything in the world is interconnected. Simple-minded, sentimentally conceived item about the “little people” is enough to give the working class a bad name, in that practically every character is annoying and is played in an extremely mannered fashion. Despite having won an Audience Award at the Santa Barbara fest, pic’s future lies in the discount video bins.

Directed by Phil Hay and Matt Manfredi, who penned last year’s “crazy/beautiful,” super-low-budget pic makes its way around L.A.’s Silver Lake area as a baker’s dozen of sad sacks grope their way through life in cutely clueless fashion. Script’s most tedious tenet is that every action has a consequence that in turn triggers another event, and meager storylines are dominated by the characters’ neuroses at the expense of any real interest or meaning. Proceedings are egged on by a cloying, “American Beauty”-ish xylophone score that gets old quickly.

Bug

Market

Production

A Hayland/Margolis Films presentation. (International sales: Curb Entertainment Intl., Los Angeles.) Produced by Lysa Hayland, Kate Margolis, Brian Gerber. Co-producer, Rebecca Baldwin. Directed by Phil Hay, Matt Manfredi. Screenplay, Manfredi.

Crew

Camera (Deluxe color), Scott Kevan; editor, John Binninger; music, Theodore Shapiro; production designer, Christopher Tandon; costume designer, Abigail Nieto. Reviewed at Santa Barbara Film Festival, Feb. 28, 2002. (Also in Cannes Film Festival -- market.) Running time: 86 MIN.

With

Brian Cox, Michael Hitchcock, Jamie Kennedy, Jane Adams, Chris Bauer, Ed Begley Jr., Megan Cavanagh, Alexis Cruz, Grant Heslov, Jon Huertas, John Carroll Lynch, Sarah Paulson, Alexandra Westcourt.
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