Standing on Fishes

Dir: Meredith Scott Lynn and Bradford Tatum
Starring: Bradford Tatum, Meredith Scott Lynn, Jason Priestley

What do you do if your lead actress won't pull a Shazza and cross her legs? Hire someone to make her a prosthetic pussy. That person is Caleb (Tatum), a sculptor whose problems extend beyond latex labia: he also has a girlfriend (Lynn) with whom sex is like "Nazi aerobics", a flaky tenant who gets her inspiration from the Moth Fairy, and a friend (Priestley) who is thinking about making babies with a girlfriend of two days' standing. For a comedy, it makes for pretty grim viewing sometimes, largely because the script - penned by Tatum, in addition to his acting and co-directorial roles - is often a bit too devastatingly accurate for comfort. In this genre, realism is not unequivocally a boon, and no-one comes out with both honour and their relationships intact. Still, when you're not squirming uncomfortably, it's solid entertainment, venomously skewering artistic sensibilities of all and sundry, notably Kelsey Grammer as the director in need of some man-made muff. Shot largely in long takes (perhaps because when you've got both directors in front of the camera, there's no-one to shout "Cut!"), it packs a solid emotional wallop behind an entirely satisfactory level of humour.


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