A time-jumbling love story about a couple who never inspire interest.

A time-jumbling love story about a couple who never inspire rooting interest, “Peter and Vandy” is an aggravating romance that runs only 78 minutes but ends not a moment too soon. First-time director Jay DiPietro has opened up his own two-character play, which enjoyed a four-month run in New York in 2002, to encompass numerous additional characters and locations, but this doesn’t change the fact that the lead characters never say anything interesting or insightful, are always bickering about mundane things such as where or what to eat, and in every way seem unworthy of any audience’s attention. Theatrical possibilities are virtually nil.

Jason Ritter blandly plays Peter, an energetic young New Yorker with the incredibly annoying habit of apologizing for practically everything he does and says. His girlfriend Vandy (Jess Weixler, “Teeth”) gingerly points out this fault to him, but he never improves. Some of the linear deck-shuffling creates small frissons, but there’s no underlying tension or subtext to shore up the banal talk. The accompanying songs are innocuous.

Peter and Vandy

Production

A Paper Street Films/Cook Street Prods. presentation in association with Wild Project. (International sales: Endeavor Agency, Beverly Hills.) Produced by Peter Sterling, Austin Stark, Benji Kohn, Bingo Gubelmann, Jay DiPietro. Executive producers, Amanda Gruss, Lawrence Levine. Co-producers, Carly Hugo, Mathew Parker. Directed, written by Jay DiPietro, based on his play.

Crew

Camera (color), Frank G. DeMarco; editor, Geoffrey Richman; music supervisor, Stephanie Diaz-Matos; production designer, Lucio Seixas; costume designer, David Withrow. Reviewed at Sundance Film Festival (competing), Jan. 22, 2009. Running time: 78 MIN.

With

Jason Ritter, Jess Weixler, Jesse L. Martin, Tracie Thoms, Kristina Klebe, Noah Bean, Zak Orth, Dana Eskelson, Bruce Altman, Maryann Plunkett.

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