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Bedrooms

Pic intercuts between four stories in which characters face essential truths in the titular room.

Cast:
With: Jordan Belfi, Julie Benz, Xander Berkeley, Moon Bloodgood, Barry Bostwick, Sarah Clarke, Jesse Garcia, Enn Reitel, Dylan Sprayberry, Ellery Sprayberry, Dee Wallace.

Mimicking the multicharacter omnibus structure of Rodrigo Garcia’s relationship dramas, “Bedrooms” intercuts between four stories of varying quality in which characters face essential truths about their lives in the titular room. With segments by four writers and directing chores shared by a threesome, the product is almost inevitably uneven, instead serving largely as a showcase for a roster of solid actors ranging from vets Dee Wallace and Barry Bostwick to rising names Julie Benz and Moon Bloodgood. Pic’s scaled to tube play and cable rotation.

The segment (each is untitled) by writer-director Victor Teran depicts a married couple in crisis. Julian (Jordan Belfi) thinks that Beth (Bloodgood) must either be frigid or no longer finds him attractive, since she dislikes having sex anymore. The two press each other until dual confessions that leave their future together uncertain.

One of two segments directed by Youssef Delara (who also writes) is the weakest link, attempting farce between an emotionally unhinged wife (Benz), an unfaithful hubby (Xander Berkeley) and an ambitious pizza delivery guy (Jesse Garcia) with whom she’s having a fling. Payoff, after much arguing and hiding under beds, doesn’t amount to much.

Delara’s other directing section, written by Wynne Renz, is essentially a showcase for Wallace and Bostwick as older lovers who realize their affair is at an end. But there’s a certain soapy element as the two reveal crucial information they’ve inexplicably kept from each other, and the drama doesn’t quite pass the psychological smell test.

The most emotionally effective segment nominally stars Sarah Clarke as a divorced mom, but is stolen by brother-and-sister thesps Dylan and Ellery Sprayberry, who play Clarke’s children. Ellery arguably provides the film’s best perf, with an impressive range of reactions and humor as her Daisy battles Dylan’s Max over primacy in their shared bedroom — with results that break mom’s heart.

Berkeley and Clarke come from the ensemble of former Fox series “24,” and the film borrows the show’s motif of multiple split screens capturing simultaneous action, in this case as a poorly judged transition gimmick. D.P. Ben Kufin’s use of the Red camera in intimate situations doesn’t improve his directors’ banal visual choices.

Bedrooms

Production: A Cima Prods. presentation in association with Olmos Prods. and Castle2000 Films. Produced by Victor Teran, Youssef Delara, Shab Azma, Amir Delara. Executive producers, Maury Rogow, Allen Wolffe, Eben Miller, Alex Castillo, John Manier, Thomas Smeltzer. Directed by Youssef Delara, Michael D. Olmos, Victor Teran. Screenplay, Delara, Wynne Renz, Teran, Rebecca Wolff.

Crew: Camera (color, HD), Ben Kufrin; editors, Craig Nisker, Eric Brodeur, Youssef Delara; music, the Angel; production designer, Ali Matilla; art director, Clax Caleb; costume designer, Tracie Leaphart; sound (stereo), Jim Machowski; supervising sound editor, Smart Post Sound; sound re-recording mixer, William Levins; associate producer, Joseph Mulcrone; casting, Fireball Group. Reviewed on DVD, Los Angeles, Aug. 30, 2010. (In Los Angeles Latino Film Festival.) Running time: 78 MIN.

With: With: Jordan Belfi, Julie Benz, Xander Berkeley, Moon Bloodgood, Barry Bostwick, Sarah Clarke, Jesse Garcia, Enn Reitel, Dylan Sprayberry, Ellery Sprayberry, Dee Wallace.

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