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movie review out of 4 Movie Review: Whipped

Starring: Amanda Peet, Brian Van Holt
Director: Peter Cohen
Rated: R
RunTime: 85 Minutes
Release Date: September 2000
Genre: Comedy

*Also starring: Judah Domke, Jonathan Abrahams, Callie Thorne, Zorie Barber

Reviewer Roundup
1.  Steve Rhodes review follows movie review
2.  Dustin Putman read the review movie reviewvideo review
3.  Harvey Karten read the review ---

Review by Steve Rhodes
1 star out of 4

How's this for an original concept? A bunch of young adult males spend their time hitting on women for sex and then lying among themselves later about their exploits. Pretty tired. The only possible twist in writer/director/producer Peter M. Cohen's WHIPPED is whether the women are as innocent and vulnerable as they seem or whether they are scamming the men just like they are being scammed. The twist, of course, is no twist at all since anyone with any intelligence whatsoever can guess it.

All of this might be ignored if there was good acting or a bright script. WHIPPED, however, features some of the worst acting this side of a high school play. The movie, which badly wants to be a THERE'S SOMETHING ABOUT MARY version of DINER, has a script that is disgustingly crude but almost never funny. Its repulsive humor includes anal-oral sex on someone who suffers from diarrhea. The talented Farrelly brothers might find a way to make this scene work, but Cohen is in no danger of being mistaken for a third Farrelly brother.

The film's four obnoxious fellows like to hang out at their favorite diner and talk dirty -- very dirty and very loud. Their shoot their favorite questions at each other -- "Did you nail her?" "Did you stuff her?" -- with salivating coarseness. The movie's harsh sound makes listening to them about as enjoyable as enduring a heavy rainstorm under a cheap metal roof.

The leader of the pack and the self-described "good catch" is named Brad (Brian Van Holt). He is a broker with an electronic stock ticker over his bed. Zeke (Zorie Barber) is a martial arts type who likes to buy extra-large-sized condoms although he needs extra small. Told that he needs to be nice to women, he replies with "Man, that sucks!" Jonathan (Jonathan Abrahams), called "fag boy" by the others, is an obsessive masturbator who worries that we might think he is gay. He carefully dispels this notion by confiding to the camera that he isn't homosexual and is just more in touch with his feminine side than his friends.

The odd-man out is the constantly blinking Eric (Judah Domke), an unhappily married guy. He was in charge of "jumping on the grenade" when the four of them used to cruise bars looking for chicks. He would jump on the ugliest one to save the other guys. He married one of these "grenades" and now relegates himself to using various pieces of kitchen cutlery to spice up their sex life.

Mel, who is the proud owner of a 5-speed that's not a bicycle, meets and falls for each of the guys, except Eric. In the first act, the men talk about her constantly but somehow never manage to mention her name so that they don't realize that they are dating the same woman. In the second act, they find out but still keep dating her. And in the third and final act, their situation gets resolved exactly as you would expect.

Consider what this movie teaches the teenage and young adult audience for which the movie is clearly aimed. Sex is only something to be "scammed" from someone and to be snickered at. The movie reinforces this by making the sex acts themselves happen fast and under cover. After making sex so filthy, they certainly wouldn't want to show it to us. The act of love is considerably cheapened by this film without any comedic payoff in return. Our packed audience, which had just the right demographics for the picture, produced only sporadic and scattered laugher.

On a more positive note. The film is short -- albeit not near short enough.

WHIPPED runs 1:25. It is rated R for strong sexual content and language and would be acceptable for college students and older.

Copyright 2000 Steve Rhodes

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