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Honey & The Pig

Mainstream maverick Olga Malea ("The Mating Game," "Risotto") pushes the envelope way past even her usual non-PC boundaries in "Honey & the Pig," a lively rural comedy revolving round a funeral parlor, a sexy gravedigger, a child molester and a pet piglet. Too local in its humor for most non-Balkan auds and too near-the-knuckle for sensitive folk, this smoothly packaged production will have difficulty finding a sweet deal far offshore, though broadminded fests should give it space as a comic curio.

Mainstream maverick Olga Malea (“The Mating Game,” “Risotto”) pushes the envelope way past even her usual non-PC boundaries in “Honey & the Pig,” a lively rural comedy revolving round a funeral parlor, a sexy gravedigger, a child molester and a pet piglet. Too local in its humor for most non-Balkan auds and too near-the-knuckle for sensitive folk, this smoothly packaged production will have difficulty finding a sweet deal far offshore, though broadminded fests should give it space as a comic curio.

To get some respite from being chased by women in Athens, Manos (Hristos Loulis) returns to his home village, but he soon finds the place is nuttier than a pecan pie. His overweight aunt (Fotini Baxevani) is into a new form of aerobics to rekindle the fires of her husband (Pavlos Haikalis), the mayor; and the latter seems more interested in befriending a cute local boy with presents of loukoumadhes (honeyed fritters — pic’s Greek title).

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Manos also finds himself in the sexual sights of Fenia (Fay Xyla), an upfront blonde who digs graves in her scanties. Fenia thinks nothing of relieving a shy young man of his virginity next to his dad’s coffin at the funeral home.

When Manos accidentally finds out about the mayor’s secret passion, he hatches a plan to dope some loukoumadhes. But his aunt’s pet porker wolfs them down by mistake.

In its first hour, film recalls Malea’s debut feature “The Cow’s Orgasm” (1997) in its portrait of lusty country folk and rural obsessions. Though the overall tone is more sitcommy, Malea shows her writing smarts in the final act, which looks at all the relationships in the village and cleverly fits the script’s disparate elements together. The focus eventually returns to Manos’ own emotional problems, prior to an upbeat finish.

Performances are fine across the board, and Yorgos Andreou’s Mexican fiesta-like score is an able assist to the mood. For the record, the mayor’s secret vice is never explicitly named (or shown) — just that “eating loukhoumades” is bad for his cholesterol count.

Honey & The Pig

Greece

  • Production: A Papandreou SA, Mega Channel, Attika, Greek Film Centre production. (International sales: Prooptiki, Athens.) Produced by Tasos Papandreou. Executive producer, Kostas Lambropoulos. Directed by Olga Malea. Screenplay, Malea, Apostolos Alexopoulos.
  • Crew: Camera (color), Elias Adamis; editor, Yorgos Mavropsaridis; music, Yorgos Andreou; art director, Sofia Zoumberi; costumes, Eva Nathena; sound (Dolby SR), Nikos Papadimitriou. Reviewed at Thessaloniki Film Festival (industry screenings), Nov. 23, 2004. Running time: 89 MIN.
  • With: <b>With:</b> Hristos Loulis, Fay Xyla, Vladimiros Kyriakidis, Haris Mavroudhis, Fotini Baxevani, Dimitris Piatas, Sofia Filippidou, Pavlos Haikalis.
  • Music By: