Sunday, 20 June 2010

No.39 : The Penthouse

The Penthouse is a dire effort that amazingly seems to have been inspired by the equally desperate ‘Wild Roomies’ (which our sister Blog covered : ) right down to the promising a lot, but delivering nothing poster.

The film opens with a reality show nearing its conclusion. This tired formula takes the guise of a show where the winning contestant gets to live in the penthouse apartment where the show is filmed. The last two are our hero Tyler and a dizzy blonde who doesn’t care who wins as they are in love and will live together anyway. Predictably Tyler wins and dumps the blonde, choosing to move his friends in instead.

As you’d imagine the friends are a mismatched lot but have something in common in all being about 30, good looking and white - bet this one broke all records at the Harlem multiplex! The friends include an introverted writer who has a dysfunctional relationship and anther douche bag who wants to be a nurse to get some flange.

Initially things go well with a couple of racy parties but soon we have to address some issues, as you do. The writer has writer’s block and is being presurised by his father in law, Ed Begley Jnr, to commit to his daughter and provide some offspring. Why he wants this dickwad to contaminate his gene pool is anyone’s guess but our man isn’t up for it anyway. He’s got his eye on Tyler’s sister who was once an ugly duckling but has now blossomed into a pretty lady. The pair are perfect for each other but only we the viewer can see it - well until the last ten minutes at any rate.

Tyler’s life of debauchery and instant fame are starting to take a toll and the film attempts to document the downside of fame while he sucks beer off the plastic tits of two models - er, job done. His erstwhile girlfriend shows up at his book signing and pretty soon he starts to realise that the trappings of fame are no match for true love .

The third plot strand is barely worth a mention but the nurse guy ends up boning the pretty doctor he answers to in a revelation I totally missed the point of.

This is a totally pointless exercise in a film. The three males leads are all awful actors and terrible characters. Two are beer swilling boors while the third is a sensitive nerd just waiting to blossom when he finds the right girl. What lessons or development we are meant to be getting here is totally lost in the random script and in the total lack of development for all concerned.

The trials of half a dozen beautiful white yuppies living in a luxurious apartment is clearly a valid one, but only if you flushed your brain down the toilet. Not one of the cast convinces and at no point does your dial shift from ‘asshole’ for any of the leads.

The reality TV bubble burst a long time ago and if this 2010 production thought it could add a foot note to the phenomena it’s clearly mistaken. Virtually all the film is sent inside the titular abode, which is fair enough, but the whole production looks like it was completed in an afternoon for some student film project. The director does try to add some flair by using several cut shots of wind up toys but sadly these serve only to highlight the desperate acting of those of the non-clockwork variety.

As you’d have gathered ‘The Penthouse’ wasn’t quite ‘top of the block’ for me and frankly if they hadn’t invested in those gyrating topless dancers we could have been looking at a new record low score.

THE Tag Line : More Pavement Than Penthouse 21%

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