Badly scripted, atrociously acted stab at the kind of madcap bedroom farce Blake Edwards delighted in, "Mantrap" focuses on one woman frantically juggling two lovers at the same time in the same place. Helmer Pelet-Narbonne lays out the spatial logistics well, but the moment anyone opens his mouth, amateurishness of project blares forth.

Badly scripted, atrociously acted stab at the kind of madcap bedroom farce Blake Edwards delighted in, “Mantrap” focuses on one woman frantically juggling two lovers at the same time in the same place. Frosh helmer Pelet-Narbonne lays out the spatial logistics fairly well, as seductress hustles boyfriends 1 and 2 into separate bedrooms and madly dashes back and forth, changing nightwear and mixing short-term mickeys. But the moment anyone opens his mouth, amateurishness of project blares forth, since personalities and dialogue are inane to the point of witlessness. Prospects for release seem dim.

Characters, aside from being terminally stupid, are generally unappealing. Ditzy heroine doesn’t even try to disguise her shallow venality and her two dorky thick-as-plank boyfriends (one supposedly a broker, the other a teacher) react to all situations with either automatic lust or puerile petulance. If “stars” weren’t one-dimensional enough, script drags in indigenous Florida trailer trash, a spying spinster, a simpering gay guy and an upright-peeing transvestite (oops!). Whole cast acts like they’ve wandered in from a Tyrolean porn film. Lensing by Gennadi Balitski, on the other hand, is several cuts above average.

Mantrap

Production

A NorthStar Pictures production. Produced by Gary White. Executive producer, Ralph R. Clemente. Directed by Alexander Pelet-Narbonne. Screenplay, Jan Schwartz.

Crew

Camera (color, Super16mm-to-D9), Gennadi Balitski; editor, Gary White; music, Amerigo D'Amico, Mitch Magonet; art director, Vanja Avalis. Reviewed on cassette at Fort Lauderdale Film Festival (Sunshine Celluloid), Nov. 7, 2002. Running time: 89 MIN.

With

Nicole Katz, Vincent Flood, Robert Sullivan, Kimberly Schwener, Joe Drago.
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