Monday, August 9, 2010

The Mallory Effect

Directed by Dustin Guy 
Starring Steven Roy, Josie Maran, Scott Hanks

"A bad blowjob, man. I never thought it would happen to me."

While you can tell, right off the bat, that The Mallory Effect is Canadian - it's got that slightly off-kilter vibe, like Christian rock or European jeans - what is not immediately apparent is what kind of movie it is. It's billed as a comedy, and the basic set-up is pure rom-com hokum: sniveling insurance salesman Charlie (Steven Roy) is dumped, on Valentine's day, by girlfriend Mallory (swimsuit model and reality TV star Josie Maran), a blonde stunner way out his league. Desperate to win her back, he devises a hare-brained scheme to reunite them. However, Charlie is so off-putting and weird (in the opening break-up scene, he shuffles off to the bathroom to slather her lipstick on his face; after she cuts him loose, he tells her next door neighbor she's riddled with STDs), that it seems more like the opening of a stalker-slasher flick, especially after he starts sleeping in his car so that he can stake out her house at night.

Also, assuming that he's our protagonist, feeling any sort of sympathy for Charlie is impossible, since he's a petulant, self-obsessed wretch surrounded by beautiful single women, including insecure barfly Jennifer (Victoria Pratt, Cleopatra 2525) and his hyper boss Robin (Clare Kramer, Buffy the Vampire Slayer), who he continuously brushes off in favor of harassing his over-it ex-girlfriend.

Charlie's best/only friend Nick (Sean Marble) is equally reprehensible, a foul-mouthed misogynist who spends most of his time lying to girls. So it's really no surprise when Charlie steps up the creepy by stalking Mallory's new mustachioed boyfriend Curtis (the Iggy Pop-esque Scott Hanks), stealing his mail, and then pretending to be a friend-of-a-friend to win his confidence.

Charlie makes a man-date to hang out with Curtis at a local bar. First though, he picks him up at his house, and while Curtis is getting ready, Charlie rubs his balls with Curtis's toothbrush. Charlie is a complete fuckin' menace in the bathroom. Later on at the bar, he attempts to hook Curtis up with a flirtatious acquaintance, Shauna (Joline Towers).

Curtis doesn't bite, and asks Charlie to drive him home. He does, and then hides in the bushes, peeping in the window to watch Curtis and Mallory fuck. So that was weird. Things get exponentially weirder, however, the next evening. First, Charlie sneaks into Curtis's house and leaves a semen-filled condom on his bathroom floor for Mallory to find. Then Nick calls him up and asks him to come over and watch him bang Laura (Larissa Moore), who can only cum when someone else is in the room, spying on her. Canadians are nuts.

So anyways, to further muddy the waters of Curtis and Mallory's relationship, Charlie gets Jennifer to lay around in Curtis's bed in lingerie, waiting for them to get home so they can indulge in group sex. Naturally, Mallory is appalled, Curtis is shocked, and everybody's night is ruined, except for Charlie, who's pretty sure he's just broke those two up for good.

But did he?

No, he did not. In the not-so-shocking climax, Mallory turns the tables on all the scheming men in her life, and everyone end up miserable. Except her.

Pervasively mean-spirited and self-consciously profane, The Mallory Effect is an odd duck of a film. If it's a comedy, it's an awful one, since there isn't a chuckle to be found. If it's a drama, it's also awful, since everyone in the film is too horrible to feel anything for. If it's a boner movie - well, there is a bevy of beautiful women parading though it, that much is true. But I'm not sure they're worth the hassle. Victoria Pratt fetishists may want to check this fizzing dud out, everybody else surely has something better to do.

- Ken McIntyre 

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