Tricked (2012, Paul Verhoeven)

How weird to be watching the DVD extras before the film – I can’t tell if the distributor thought this was necessary, or if Netflix fucked something up (they’ve done worse before)… no, a Cinema Scope review confirms that the 50-minute movie is meant to be preceded by 40 minutes of promo fluff interview material. I lasted less than 10 before skipping ahead.

Not sure if the rest of the promo fluff covers this, but I read online that this was somewhat of a failed experiment. Control freak Verhoeven decided to solicit movie scripts from the public based on a short intro scene, then film segments piecemeal with amateur actors… but he wasn’t happy with the story submissions, so he wrote his own script, cast professionals, and shot it. We’re left with a 50-minute light infidelity comedy that ends with a couple of main characters zipping off to a Rammstein concert. I suppose instead I’ll try Mary is Happy, Mary is Happy or Mysterious Object at Noon to get my fix for disjointed, crowdsourced stories.

Remco (an actor from Black Book) has a long-suffering wife, horny son and Rammstein-loving daughter. His business partners are trying to sell out their company, using Remco’s pregnant mistress to blackmail him into agreeing. Meanwhile the daughter and her best friend Merel (who is sleeping with Remco) figure out the mistress is faking her pregnancy.

Ignatiy in AV Club:

The fact that it’s fast-paced and diverting (rather than, say, a god-awful mess) is a credit to his skill at black comedy … Bereft of subtext and shot in a largely handheld, TV-ready style, it lacks Verhoeven’s usual deep bite, despite the cynical punch line of the ending.

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