out of 4
All-Reviews.com Movie/Video Review
|*Also starring: ||Danny Verduzco, Lana McKissack, Salma Hayek, Jennifer Beals, Paul Calderone, Sammi Davis, Valeria Golino, Madonna, Ione Skye, Lili Taylor, Marisa Tomei, Bruce Willis||
Review by Jerry Saravia
1½ stars out of 4
Allison Anders, Quentin Tarantino, Alexander Rockwell and Robert Rodriguez all
have one thing in common. They have concocted a disastrously wrongheaded
anthology about four different rooms in a David Lynchian hotel with one
omnipresent character, a bellboy. If only these four rooms didn't all seem the
Tim Roth plays Ted, the bellboy who works one long night on New Year's Eve
catering to the demands of every guest at the hotel. Firstly, we have a coven of
witches all played by Madonna, Lili Taylor, Valeria Golino, Sammi Davis and Ione
Skye. For Skye to become a witch, she needs Ted's sperm! Then Ted inadvertently
wanders into a bizarre S & M game with Jennifer Beals. Later, Ted finds himself
acting as a babysitter for two little rascals while the parents (Tamlyn Tomita,
Antonio Banderas) are out partying. Finally, there is the movie star (Quentin
Tarantino) and his cohorts on the top floor who stage a bet involving cutting
someone's pinkie off.
To give Tim Roth the title role is a stroke of genius but he's not given much of
a character to play. His constant tics and forced smiles in all four episodes
evoke wearisome histrionics, not laughter. Just imagine what Steve Buscemi from
"Barton Fink" might have done with this.
The best episode is the first one called "The Missing Ingredient" with the coven
of witches - it is funny and has some zest to it, and all the actresses make
witty appearances. Rockwell's awful "Wrong Man" episode is uneven, stupid and
definitely the worst - this episode's idea of wit is to have Beals's character
come up with various synonyms for penis. Rodriguez's over-the-top "Misbehavers"
is strangely dull with Banderas overdoing his "Desperado" slicked-ponytail
routine. The last episode, "The Man From Hollywood," is relentlessly dreary with
Tarantino doing his one-note characterization of a movie star and his knowledge
of how movies gross at the box-office. The finger foible story adds zilch to
Tarantino's own pulpy film resume, and the constant hand-held camerawork and
litany of f-curses is headache-inducing.
"Four Rooms" is a misguided and terminally unfunny anthology offering none of
the evident talent from its star directors, excluding Allison Anders ("Gas, Food
and Lodging"). It is less a movie than an excuse to show a serpentine,
uncontrollable late-night party with more jeers than cheers.
Copyright © 1996 Jerry Saravia
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