The Fittest

If the Farrelly brothers weren't nice guys (and relatively adept filmmakers), the results might look something like Joshua and Jeffrey Crook's "The Fittest," a crude and even more crudely assembled comedy about the battle of the sexes that's quite funny in stretches but wears out its welcome early on.

With:
With: Jason Madera, Angela Grant, Chris Ferry, Christina Caparoula, Joshua Crook, Wendy Coutau, Peter Blitzer, Heidi Laughrey, Rob Vroom, Jeffrey Crook, David Pasad, Jessica Mastan, Caroline Barton.

If the Farrelly brothers weren’t nice guys (and relatively adept filmmakers), the results might look something like Joshua and Jeffrey Crook’s “The Fittest,” a crude and even more crudely assembled comedy about the battle of the sexes that’s quite funny in stretches but wears out its welcome early on. Like the Crooks’ first feature, 2002’s “Suckerpunch,” pic may receive a modicum of festival exposure (particularly as a midnight item), but seems tailor-made for the video rental market.

A ribald, but familiar take on the pickling predicaments of suburban life, pic unfolds through the eyes of Freddy (Jason Madera), who’s stuck in a dead-end job and possibly a dead-end marriage as well. Married to a woman (Angela Grant) he can’t get pregnant and having an affair with his chauvinist boss’ sometimes girlfriend (Christina Caparoula), who he does manage to get pregnant, most of “The Fittest” (as in “survival of”) concerns what happens when Freddy snaps, “kidnapping” said girlfriend (actually, tying her up in the basement of her own house) after she threatens to have an abortion. Many humiliating (and distinctly unfunny) scenes for both actresses ensue.

The Fittest

Production: A Crook Brothers Prods. presentation. Produced by Angela Grant. Executive producers, Gil Holland, Ilana Sparrow. Co-producers, Andres Baiz, Wendy Coutau. Directed, written by Joshua Crook, Jeffrey Crook.

Crew: Camera (color), John Barrett Ashmore; editor, Joshua Crook; music, Wendell Hanes; production designer, Andres Baiz; sound, Bryant Musgrove. Reviewed at Cinevegas Film Festival, Las Vegas, June 16, 2003. Running time: 84 MIN.

With: With: Jason Madera, Angela Grant, Chris Ferry, Christina Caparoula, Joshua Crook, Wendy Coutau, Peter Blitzer, Heidi Laughrey, Rob Vroom, Jeffrey Crook, David Pasad, Jessica Mastan, Caroline Barton.

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