Whip-lash

Whipped is now playing in theaters nationwide.





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In Whipped, Peter M. Cohen presents New York City as a dating

disater site for eager bachelors. Little does he really know that the movie

itself has yellow disaster police tape plastered all around it. Stay clear

of this danger zone of a romantic comedy - watch dry paint instead.

Let's skip to the basics. Brian (Brian Van Holt) is a very tall, very

blond lawyer who scouts clubs for pretty women and then pretends to be

their old best friend's brother; Zeke (Zorie Barber) is an artsy, East

Village screenwriter who repeatedly sleeps with women who steal his TV in

the morning; and Jonathan (Jonathan Abrahams) has more of a relationship

with his closet-full of hand lotions than he's ever had with a real woman.

Together they make up three "typical" bachelors whose lives revolve around

sex, sex and morning-after kissing-and-telling.

At the greasy spoon where they meet to exchange "scamming" stories - a

term for "scoring" that sounds like a business transaction gone wrong -

their whooping, high-fiving bedroom gossip is practically more enjoyable

than the sex itself. The guys egg each other on to reveal the nastiest,

most wacky tidbits of their late-night weekend escapades. This part of the

film teeters on the fine line between humor and absurdity. Try as you may,

you don't feel anything for the characters, except perhaps a mixture of

embarrassment and pity. As the old adage goes, you don't laugh with them,

you laugh at them.

The film drags on and you witness the men try anything and everything

for a little female attention. Suddenly, however, when they're at the peak

of their pitiable game, they meet their match in Mia (Amanda Peet), who

embodies their vision of the perfect woman. She's beautiful and actually

interested in their lives and pastimes (e.g. Jonathan's unquenchable thirst

for "feeding the geese" or in other words, masturbating).

Unfortunately, all three men meet her at separate times and locales and

instantly fall in love with her. Bros before hos? Pals before gals? Hardly.

They immediately end their Sunday morning brunches, stomp each other like

roaches when the chance prevails and stop at nothing to make Mia theirs.

Mia, on the other hand, has her own game plan. We learn way too late in

the movie that she's here to teach these guys a lesson. "Everyone fucks

everyone else," she shrugs with a laugh. So why shouldn't she? In fact,

she'll even do the guys' overweight, annoying and married friend Eric

("Every frickin' day with the same woman!") to prove her point.

The trailer line for Whipped warns, "Never underestimate the

power of a woman," next to a picture of the scantily-clad Peet puckering

her lips like a fish. So it's come to this: a powerful woman (ladies, take

notes) wears a pink leather halter and hot pink lipstick and sleeps with

any guy within a 10-foot radius. Don't make me hurl.

It's not the sex that's the issue here. If sex is what you want, rent

the raunchy, bizarre and terribly funny There's Something About

Mary. If you want to see a movie with a confident female character who

can out-do and out-screw with the best of 'em, get Spike Lee's 1986 joint

She's Gotta Have It (which, I may add, this movie rips unabashedly

from, whether in its pastiches featuring characters talking directly to the

camera or the one-woman, three-man theme). Rather suspiciously, this movie

uses the same exact description of "The Stranger" (i.e. sitting on your

hand till it goes numb and then using it on yourself) as the summer's

earlier Gone In Sixty Seconds. Usually you can let a coincidence

like this go, but Whipped does such a horrible job imitating other

movies that viewers can't help but wonder.

Whipped can't squeak by its extremely weak script, specifically

when it comes to the actors. Any of the characters, as stereotypical and

tired as their roles may be, could have had room for a degree of depth to

their parts. Instead, they fall as flat as day-old spinach quiche. The

"men" in this story act like immature eighth-graders when it comes to their

sex romps (the only difference being that eighth-graders are occasionally

funny).

I'm sure this movie's writer-director, Peter H. Cohen, thinks he's being

inventive and creative with his sexual buzzwords. "Nailing" means having

sex, "fine honeys" are beautiful women and a "stabbin' cabin" is an

apartment used for sex. Uh, am I the only one not laughing here?

The story lacks originality and any real direction by Cohen. It's quite

possibly the worst independent movie I've ever seen.

Save your money. Buy a pocket-protector instead.

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