2B Perfectly Honest (2004)

Genres - Comedy  |   Sub-Genres - Urban Comedy, Workplace Comedy  |   Release Date - Jan 1, 2004 (USA - Limited)  |   Run Time - 90 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - R
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Review by Josh Ralske

With its appealing and talented cast, its attractive New York locations, and a surprisingly slick look for a low-budget production shot on digital video, Randel Cole's 2BPerfectlyHonest could have been a lot better than it is. But the convoluted script is overstuffed with the kind of irritatingly quirky New York characters one only finds in the movies, and to make matters worse, the two characters at the center of the narrative, Frank (Adam Trese) and Josh (Andrew McCarthy), are sketchily drawn, dull, and unsympathetic. The narrative tricks (actors playing dual roles, a pointless framing device) are more gimmicky than clever, and do nothing to augment the movie's disappointingly banal themes. The tone is loud and chaotic, which doesn't compensate for a lack of believable or interesting detail. The plot centers on Frank and Josh's work, but there's never any real sense of what they're doing. Cole attempts to compensate for the predictability of Frank's eventual life lesson by tricking out the narrative with needless digressions and filling the edges of it with kooks like Sal, the chess shop owner played by John Turturro. Turturro has played such prototypical New York cranks before, but he's an indomitable force as an actor, and he's given free reign here to sink his teeth into a juicy double role. He and his equally talented sister, Aida Turturro, do manage to bring some life to their broadly drawn characters. Their performances almost salvage the movie.