You will be redirected back to your article in seconds


A mildly amusing medium-length soaper packaged with "Paul's Experience," a promo-style docu about the project, yet even the helmer says onscreen that the gambit doesn't work without any structure to accommodate such random ideas.

The great thing about gimmicks is that their shelf life is as long as a container of unpasteurized milk. Dutch shingle FCCE came up with what it calls “The Entertainment Experience,” whereby the public submitted screenplay ideas via a website to continue the kernel of a story. With Paul Verhoeven onboard, they produced “Tricked,” a mildly amusing medium-length soaper packaged with “Paul’s Experience,” a promo-style docu about the project, yet even the helmer says onscreen that the gambit doesn’t work without any structure to accommodate such random ideas. With no real application, this experiment is likely to remain a stand-alone stunt.

Press handouts at the Rome Film Festival offered conflicting info, with one sheet claiming a 100-minute version exists, while another in the same package spoke of 25- and 43-minute versions for TV. Billed as the world’s first user-generated pic, “Tricked” began as a four-page script by Kim van Kooten, and was then continued by 397 selected participants who wrote, or at least guided, the direction of the remaining screenplay. FCCE plans on releasing the 53-minute version in Dutch cinemas together with “Paul’s Experience,” directed by Michael Greive, though the bundle will be more at home on smallscreens or streaming sites.

“Paul’s Experience” is nothing more than a standard DVD extra/puff piece that would be better tacked on to the film’s end rather than at the beginning, since it gives away a major plot point. It’s probably also not wise to have Verhoeven explain why the idea of crowd-sourced script guidance doesn’t work, prior to showing the results of that experiment. Unsurprisingly, the helmer and collaborators sifted through countless suggestions from amateurs with no understanding of narrative arcs or character development before cherry-picking workable ideas and then giving them some shape — a maddening experience, besides being a monumental time-waster. That the end-product works at all is a surprise, but hardly proves “the wisdom of the crowd.”

“Tricked” revolves around the 50th birthday of big-time construction company boss Remco (Peter Blok). Life at home with wife Ineke (Ricky Koole), daughter Lieke (Carolien Spoor) and son Tobias (Robert de Hoog) is tense, partly due to Remco’s inveterate womanizing, with things really heating up when his ex-mistress, Nadja (Sallie Harmsen), shows up pregnant at the party. Of course, everyone suspects Remco is the father, which suits Nadja perfectly since she and his biz partner, Wim (Jochum ten Haaf), then blackmail him into selling the company to Chinese investors. Only Remco’s affair with his daughter’s best friend, Merel (Gaite Jansen), seems to be going well, but she’s enjoying toying with a besotted Tobias.

As with most soap operas, there’s a new plot twist every two minutes, suitable for a medium-length format but nothing longer. Discerning Verhoeven’s hand in it all is difficult, though true to the helmer’s more intimate style, it largely revolves around sex, and has a few fun plot twists, as to be expected when the script has 397 collaborators. Given that the thesps didn’t know where their characters were going, they deliver enjoyable perfs, matched by the TV-style lensing.

Popular on Variety



Production: An FCCE release of an FCCE production. (International sales: FCCE, Amsterdam.) Produced by Rene Mioch, Justus Verkerk. Co-producer, Mardou Jacobs. Reviewed at Rome Film Festival (Cinemaxxi), Nov. 12, 2012. Running time: 85 MIN.

Crew: Paul's Experience Pauls versie Directed by Michael Greive. Running time: 32 MIN.
Tricked Directed by Paul Verhoeven. Screenplay, Kim van Kooten, Robert Alberdingk Thijm, Verhoeven. Camera (color, HD), Lennert Hillege; editor, Job ter Burg; music, Fons Merkies; production designer, Roland de Groot; costume designers, Yan Tax, Marie Lauwers; sound (Dolby), Antoin Cox, Mark Glynne; casting, Hans Kemna, Leonie Luttik. Running time: 53 MIN.

With: With: Peter Blok, Jochum ten Haaf, Sallie Harmsen, Robert de Hoog, Gaite Jansen, Ricky Koole, Carolien Spoor, Pieter Tiddens.

More Film

  • Amanda

    ‘Amanda’ Takes Home Best Int’l Film at 15th Sanfic

    SANTIAGO, Chile    French director Mikhael Hers’ “Amanda” scooped up the Best Int’l Film award Saturday (Aug. 24) at the 15th Santiago Int’l Film Fest (Sanfic), which reported a 20% audience uptick in the past two years and continues to grow its reputation as the most vibrant and prominent film festival in Latin America’s Southern [...]

  • disney d23

    Cruella, Kit Harington and Black Panther's Return: Everything We Learned at D23 Day Two

    Not to be outdone by the avalanche of series orders and casting announcements bolstering the new streaming series Disney Plus, Walt Disney Studios showed off its film wares in a marathon presentation at D23 on Saturday. The Anaheim, Calif. expo brought star power, if perhaps fewer surprises than Friday’s presentation, as fans in princess and [...]

  • Harvey Weinstein, Katie Holmes, Taylor Swift'The

    Taylor Swift Downplays Association With Harvey Weinstein

    Taylor Swift’s association with disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein was among the topics the singer addressed in a revealing new interview with The Guardian. Weinstein held producer credits for the movies “One Chance” and “The Giver,” both of which featured Swift — in the former, a song, and in the latter, a supporting role. She [...]

  • Breaking Bad Movie

    'Breaking Bad' Movie: Watch the First Teaser for 'El Camino'

    In case you hadn’t heard, Emmy-winning drama “Breaking Bad” is cooking up a movie sequel. On Saturday, after details of Netflix’s project quietly leaked online, the streaming giant issued the first teaser for “El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie,” which will be released on October 11. Starring Aaron Paul as Jesse Pinkman, the “Breaking Bad” [...]

  • Samara Weaving and Adam Brody Big

    'Ready or Not': That Time Samara Weaving Hit Andie MacDowell in the Face

    Samara Weaving didn’t mean to hurt Andie MacDowell, but she did just that while they were rehearsing for their new horror dark comedy “Ready or Not.” “I hit Andie MacDowell in the face by accident,” Weaving says on this week’s episode of “The Big Ticket,” Variety and iHeart’s movie podcast. “It was horrible. It was [...]

  • Aracne

    Chile’s Sanfic, Mexico’s Morbido Fest Pact to Promote Latino Horror (EXCLUSIVE)

    Mexican horror festival Morbido and Chile’s Santiago Intl. Film Festival (Sanfic) have agreed on a long-term collaboration intended to strengthen the genre film industry in Chile and across Latin America. This partnership will see Morbido representatives attend the Sanfic industry section each year to aid in the promotion of horror projects and advise those projects [...]

  • Tom Holland'Spider-Man: Homecoming' film premiere, Arrivals,

    Tom Holland Addresses Spider-Man’s Studio Divorce at D23: ‘I Love You 3000’

    British actor Tom Holland showed face on the main stage at D23 on Saturday, in the thick of an ugly studio battle over the rights to his iconic Marvel character Spider-Man. Headlines have been rolling in for days about the contentious battle for the cinematic future of the hero, after Sony Pictures became unwilling to [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content