Black comedy doesn't get much clumsier than Jay Floyd's "Forgiving the Franklins." Intended as a spoof on a hypocritical Christian fundamentalist family, pic is a tin-eared laffer whose inclusion at Sundance, even in non-competitive Spectrum section, feels like a mistake. Comedy, which could give anti-religious movies a bad name, lacks any commercial promise.

Black comedy doesn’t get much clumsier than Jay Floyd’s “Forgiving the Franklins.” Intended as a spoof on a hypocritical Christian fundamentalist family, pic is a tin-eared laffer whose inclusion at Sundance, even in non-competitive Spectrum section, feels like a mistake. Comedy, which could give anti-religious movies a bad name, lacks any commercial promise.

Ultra-religious Franklin clan, led by dad Frank (Robertson Dean) and mom Betty (Teresa Willis), appear robotically cartoonish, save the fact that son Brian (Vince Pavia) is secretly gay. A car crash sends Frank, Betty and Brian — but not daughter Caroline (Aviva) — to a near-death experience with Jesus (Pop DaSilva), which has the strained effect of turning the threesome into ravenously sexual creatures. Lensing and camerawork are way below par.

Forgiving the Franklins

Production

A Grinning Idiot Entertainment presentation. (International sales: Eastgate Pictures, New York.) Produced by Jay Floyd, Rob Houk. Directed, written by Jay Floyd.

Crew

Camera (color, DV), Floyd; editors, Floyd, Lawrence Benedict, Elizabeth Schroder; music, Cindy O'Connor. Reviewed at Sundance Film Festival (Spectrum), Jan. 25, 2006. Running time: 99 MIN.

With

Teresa Willis, Robertson Dean, Aviva , Vince Pavia, Mari Blackwell, Pop DaSilva, Khris Scaramanga.
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