"Homewrecker" is a screwballer sans spark.

Not remotely believable, and not terribly funny either, the low-key “Homewrecker” is a screwballer sans spark. The tale of a locksmith on work-release from jail who tolerates the endless kookiness of a distaff client, this DVD-bound first feature by New York-based Barnes brothers, Todd and Brad, at least benefits from Anslem Richardson’s appealing turn as a character whose motivations simply don’t track. After picking a lock for the strung-out and pathologically suspicious Margo (Ana Reeder), Richardson’s reforming convict somehow feels obliged to talk to the woman’s beau (Stephen Rannazzisi), fishing for information about his presumed infidelity.

That a borderline trashy-looking woman would be dating a preppy Manhattan gallery owner is another key contrivance in the Barnes’ screenplay (co-written by Sophie Goodhart), wherein F-bombs pointlessly abound. Shot on a slim budget, the film nevertheless makes fairly realistic use of Gotham locations, although the DV image quality appears erratic. Acoustic guitar songs by Todd Snider marginally help perk up the pic’s slack pace, but the final tune, Chicago’s ’70s pop hit “Saturday in the Park,” seems wholly out of place in the context of a DIY production.

Homewrecker

Production

An Institute of Magical Dance presentation of a Barnes Brothers Independent production. Produced by Todd Barnes, Brad Barnes. Executive producers, Todd McDonald, Nicole Vodrazka, Gregory P. Shockro, Richard Selby. Co-producer, Kim Barnes. Directed by Todd Barnes, Brad Barnes. Screenplay, Todd Barnes, Brad Barnes, Sophie Goodhart.

Crew

Camera (color/B&W, DV, widescreen), Danny Vecchione; editors, Tom Griffin, Todd Barnes; music, Todd Snider; production designer, Carmen Cardenas; art director, Tania Bijlani; assistant director, Marni Zelnick. Reviewed at Sundance Film Festival (Next), Jan. 22, 2010. Running time: 88 MIN.

With

Anslem Richardson, Ana Reeder, Stephen Rannazzisi, Cesar De Leon, Mary Beth Peil, Michelle Krusiec.

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