Reviewed at Berlin Film Festival (Forum), Feb. 18, 2000. Running time: 84 MIN.
With: Devery Doleman, Jim Dwyer, Aaron Falls, Brenda Velez, Philly, Erma Verow, Leanne Whitney, Craig Bowden, Rebecca Denise, Jesse Manson, Eric Sapp.
The marginally talented and tirelessly self-promoting Todd Verow (“Little Shots of Happiness”) strikes again with “A Sudden Loss of Gravity,” a silly and slapdash no-budget blunder that will be mistaken for art only by the most tragically hip fest audiences. Collaborating once again with a loyal troupe of amateurs he has dubbed “superstars” — that’s right, just like the late Andy Warhol’s crew of irregulars — Verow has concocted something that’s truly inspirational for all the wrong reasons. Dozens of would-be filmmakers will look at this technically inept and dramatically shapeless mess and exclaim: “Hey! I can do that!” And they probably will, only better.
Set in Bangor, Maine, during the 1980s, “Gravity” has something to do with a guilt-racked, heavy-boozing bowling alley employee (Devery Doleman), and something else to do with the reunion between a vaguely rebellious teen (Aaron Falls) and his prodigal punk-rocker mother (Philly). For the most part, though, the wispy plot is merely an excuse for faux-melodramatic posing and interminable stretches of tone-deaf, semi-improvised dialogue. At one point, the punk rocker warbles: “I love you when I sit on your face!” The singer’s son comments: “Mom, that’s disgusting.” He’s right. Verow claims “Gravity” is only one of 10 digital-video pics he’ll unleash by the end of 2000. Be afraid, be very afraid.