Satirizing political hypocrisy should be a cakewalk, but Peter James Iengo’s farcical comedy, scripted by Brett Lewis, trips over its own feet. Featuring several familiar veteran performers hopelessly sacrificing their dignity, C Street is so horrendously awful that it makes C-SPAN seem entertaining by comparison.
The plot-borrowing none too subtly takes from Billy Wilder’s The Apartment (the legendary director must be spinning in his grave after being referenced in the press notes) — concerns congressional intern Guy (Evan Hall, mugging unmercifully), who allows his domicile located on the titular street to be used for illicit assignations by sexually rapacious politicians. Chief among them is his own boss, the family values-preaching Senator Fallon (Dylan Walsh of Nip/Tuck and Unforgettable), who’s having an affair with sexy campaign worker Haley (Shaun Licata), much to the consternation of his wealthy wife (Carey Lowell).
This witless comedy actually manages to make today’s real-life politicians look dignified by comparison.
Anyone who’s seen Wilder’s classic will immediately guess that Guy is actually in love with Haley himself, and is deeply distressed when he comes home one night to find her naked in his apartment waiting for his boss. Complicating things even further is the frequent traffic trooping through his home night and day, including a couple of kinky governors (Bruce Altman, Michael Gross), a coke-snorting congressman (Matt McCurdy) and the perverse, aptly named Reverend Fink (Grainger Hines).
It’s all about as laborious and predictable as it sounds, with the filmmakers’ idea of humor being to throw as many offensive stereotypes, including mincing gays and hot-headed Hispanics, into the mix as possible. This would-be comedy is at least an equal-opportunity offender, with absolutely none of the characters, including the two young leads whose burgeoning romance we’re supposed to cheer on, being remotely appealing.
Not surprisingly, considering what they’re given to work with, the performers flounder, with Walsh, normally a dependable dramatic actor, demonstrating that comedy really isn’t his forte. But then again, not even Jack Lemmon in his prime could have managed to lift this amateurish effort into watchability.
Distributor: Indelible Films
Production: C Street Productions
Cast: Dylan Walsh, Evan Hall, Shaun Licata, Bruce Altman, Joseph Midyett, Grainger Hines, Don Stark, Sondra James, Jessica Blank, Carey Lowell, Michael Gross
Director: Peter James Iengo
Screenwriter: Brett Lewis
Producers: Brett Lewis, Ann Luster, Peter James Iengo
Executive producers: Brett Lewis, Ann Luster
Director of photography: Matthew A. Nardone
Production designer: Laura Sewell
Editor: Cameron Taddeo
Costume designer: Emily Foley
Composer: Peter Himmelman
Casting: Erica Palgon
Not rated, 85 minutes