A cheapo sex comedy stuffed with mugging actors and TV-scale filmmaking.

Novelist James Canon’s acclaimed literary debut, “Tales From the Town of Women” is the source material for writer-director Gabriela Tagliavini’s “Without Men,” a cheapo sex comedy stuffed with mugging actors and TV-scale filmmaking. The story of a Latin American village depopulated of men during a civil war and transformed by the surviving women, pic follows in a line of disappointing gender-based comedies from Tagliavini (“Ladies’ Night”). Part of a Stateside traveling series of films from distrib Maya, this one will fade as soon as the show leaves town.

Canon’s mordant third-person narrative voice is delivered in corny narration by the town priest Rafael (Oscar Nunez), who describes the invasion of rebels into rural Mariquita (Colombia in the novel, now made geographically non-specific). Led by an unconvincing rebel (Paul Rodriguez), the force absconds with the men, leaving the women to their own devices. The place quickly becomes a paradise of lesbian love, with, among other pairs, self-appointed mayor Rosalba (Eva Longoria) matching up with lusty Cleotilde (Kate del Castillo). Meanwhile, Yank journo Gordon (Christian Slater) slips into town looking for an angle.

Without Men

Production

A Maya Entertainment release and presentation in association with Tayrona Entertainment Group of an Indalo and Anthony Moody production in association with Lucas Jarach/Jason Price productions. Produced by Moody, Price, Jarach. Executive producers, Gabriela Tagliavini, Moctesuma Esparza, Tonantzin Esparza, James Ordonez, Jose Antonio Ruiz-Diez, Sheila McCarthy, Jeff Valdez, Bonnie Kanner, Daniel Santefort, Andrew Nagel, Vance Owen. Co-executive producers, Kurt Kelly, Kim Taddeo, Straw Weisman, Nathan Folks, Ilko Drozdoski. Directed, written by Gabriela Tagliavini. Based on the novel "Tales From the Town of Widows" by James Canon.

Crew

Camera (color, DV), Andy Strahorn; editor, Michael Spence; music, Carlo Silotto; production designer, Michael Fitzgerald; art director, Samson Kellman; set decorator, Siobhan O'Brien; costume designer, Onieta Parker. Reviewed at Laemmle Sunset Five, Los Angeles, July 29, 2011. (In Los Angeles Latino Film Festival.) MPAA Rating: R. Running time: 83 MIN.

With

Eva Longoria, Christian Slater, Oscar Nunez, Kate del Castillo, Guillermo Diaz, Maria Conchita Alonso, Camryn Manheim, Paul Rodriguez, Judy Reyes.

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