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Insomnia

Carol Stein and Susan Wittenberg's "Insomnia" is a flat and charmless low-budget comedy about two thirtysomething New Yorkers who nearly destroy their marriage in order to save it. The writing lacks wit and the performances lack sparkle. Commercial prospects are nil.

Carol Stein and Susan Wittenberg’s “Insomnia” is a flat and charmless low-budget comedy about two thirtysomething New Yorkers who nearly destroy their marriage in order to save it. The writing lacks wit and the performances lack sparkle. Commercial prospects are nil.

Jodie Markell, a Manhattan stage vet, plays Veronica, an art history professor who’s suffering through sleepless nights while wondering why the magic has vanished from her 13-year marriage. Hubby Garr (Dan Reichert) is also feeling discontented. He’s drawn to a pretty co-worker but remains faithful — until Veronica falsely accuses him of adultery and kicks him out of their apartment. After he’s gone, she seeks sexual fulfillment first with a hunky student, then a sleep therapist.

Eventually, though not quickly enough, the couple reunite. Final scene demonstrates that there’s nothing like seeing your husband perform a disco number while dressed in garish female drag to revive your burnt-out relationship. Marriage counselors, take note.

Co-directors Stein and Wittenberg, working from a script they wrote with Robert Plunket, attempt to keep things jolly by surrounding the colorless leads with some aggressively colorful supporting characters. The actors cast in these roles try hard, and the effort shows.

Tech values are unremarkable.

Insomnia

  • Production: An Insomnia Films production. Produced by Andrew Fierberg. Directed by Carol Stein, Susan Wittenberg. Screenplay, Stein, Wittenberg, Robert Plunket.
  • Crew: Camera (color), Jon Herron; editors, Kristina Bowden, Carol Stein; music, Amy Malina, Bobby Muzingo; production design, Deana Pini Sidney; costumes, Taylor Kincaid Cheek; sound, William Cozy, Jeff Pullman; associate producer, Mark Kamine; casting, Jane Shannon. Reviewed at Berlin Film Festival (market), Feb. 13, 1995. Running time: 81 MIN.
  • With: Veronica Treadwell - Jodie Markell<br> Garr Treadwell - Dan Reichert<br> <B>With:</B> Nancy Hower, Paul Kneubuhl, Laura Weekes, Jake Beecham, Jan Harlin, Robert Plunket, Matthew Sussman.
  • Music By: