A Swiss clinic offers a cushy path to assisted suicide in “Kill Me Please,” sophomore helmer Olias Barco’s tedious attempt to ride the current wave of Belgian black comedies. Co-produced by La Parti, behind the much funnier “Aaltra” and “Man Bites Dog,” the black-and-white pic tries to take jabs at officially sanctioned suicides, but the script has too many hands, and with no discernible structure, it simply races through a grab-bag of quirky characters until an undistinguished final explosion. Pic won Rome’s top prize, suggesting others may have more positive views, though commercial prospects are slim.Dr. Kruger (Aurelien Recoing) offers wealthy patients with terminal illnesses the chance to die with dignity via a dose of sodium pentobarbital. Among the clients are combative millionaire Mr. Vidal (Bouli Lanners), larger-than-life diva Rachel (Zazie de Paris), and neurotic American Jack (Saul Rubinek). A kitchen fire turns the mansion upside down, but the farce turns truly black when the villagers lay siege. Visuals favor a docu-style observational approach featuring unremarkable handheld lensing. Putting Lanners and Rubinek together is inspired casting, but the vehicle isn’t worthy of their talents.
A Le Pacte presentation of a La Parti, OXB, Les Armateurs, RTBF production, in association with Minds Meet, Mollywood. (International sales: Le Pacte, Paris.) Produced by Philippe Kauffmann, Didier Brunner, Guillaume Malandrin, Vincent Tavier, Olias Barco, Stephane Malandrin. Co-producer, La Parti. Directed by Olias Barco. Screenplay, Barco, Virgile Bramly, Stephane Malandrin.
Camera (B&W), Frederic Noirhomme; editor, Ewin Ryckaert; production designer, Manu de Meulemeester; costume designer, Elise Ancion. Reviewed at Rome Film Festival (competing), Nov. 2, 2010. Running time: 95 MIN.
Aurelien Recoing, Virgile Bramly, Daniel Cohen, Virginie Efira, Bouli Lanners, Benoit Poelvoorde, Saul Rubinek, Zazie de Paris, Clara Cleymans, Philippe Nahon, Vincent Tavier, Olga Grumberg, Bruce Ellison, Gerard Rambert, Stephane Malandrin, Muriel Bersy, Ingrid Heiderscheit, Stephanie Crayencour. (French, English dialogue)