Starring Sam Rockwell and Kelly Macdonald. Rated 18A. Opens Friday, September 26, at the Cinemark Tinseltown
The first rule of Fight Club may have been to never talk about Fight Club, but if sex addicts have a rule, it’s to never talk about anything else but their compulsion.
The main perv here, in this breezy adaptation of another novel by Fight scribe Chuck Palahniuk, is Victor Mancini, played definitively by permaweasel Sam Rockwell. Victor isn’t a bad guy, exactly; he is simply without redeeming qualities.
His work gives him plenty of time to boff everything in sight and allows his lovably dumb best pal (Brad William Henke), a chronic masturbator, the opportunity to advance his hobby as well. (Their boss is played by Clark Gregg, whose first writing-directing effort this is. And Gregg’s father-in-law, Joel Grey, shows up as an addicts’ group leader.)
Victor has one other notable pastime: he visits many restaurants, to try new cuisines and pretend to choke on them—the better to be “saved” by customers who generally reward him with cash and attention. He’s lacking the latter, as we learn in flashbacks, because he was semi-raised by a footloose mother (Anjelica Huston) who makes the mom in The Royal Tenenbaums look like Mrs. Walton.
Now, she is in an all-female nursing home, where his frequent visits—despite her inability to recognize him—result in an undue amount of affection from patients and staff.
The first time this matters is when he meets a new physician (played charmingly by Kelly Macdonald) with unorthodox methods of treating dementia. Actually, everyone in this short, foul-mouthed, deeply irreverent, and rather cheaply shot romp is demented in some special way, although the combination turns out to be quite soulful in the end.
At one point, our horny, Heimlich-minded hero refers to his life as “Gilligan meets Groundhog Day”, but I’m thinking more My Name Is Earl meets David Duchovny—with anal beads.