- The Washington Times - Saturday, May 4, 2002

''Some Body" isn't much of a play on words. It's also a feeble excuse for a movie, even a shoestring operation that attempts to camouflage its weaknesses with prurient fake-outs.

Essentially an audition tape that fizzles, it was shot with a pair of digital cameras and emerged from a kind of actors-workshop exercise. Somebody goofed when deciding it was ready for paying customers. This weekend was particularly ill-timed: "Some Body" is bound to run a distant second to the Mexican import "Y Tu Mama Tambien" for prurience honors.

"Some Body" casts aspiring actress Stephanie Bennett who co-wrote the script with director Henry Barrial as elementary school teacher Samantha. Located in Southern California, Samantha seems to be trifling with the primrose path that proved fatal for the heroine of "Looking for Mr. Goodbar": schoolteacher by day, tramp by night. Come to think of it, "The Teacher Is a Tramp" probably would be a far more exploitable title.

Miss Bennett, who evidently did hold a teaching job while moonlighting as an actress, is introduced in the classroom, confiding the story of "Three Billy Goats Gruff" directly to the camera. I fear this was intended as a tour de force. It plays as a tour de pointless.

Puzzled by Sam's pedagogical style, we move on to her double life as a party girl. She is encountered drifting toward something disreputable, maybe an impromptu threesome, before being dragged away by her fuming boyfriend, Anthony (Jeramy Guillroy).

Anthony proves insufferable in the immediate aftermath, which leads to a breakup and the only promising comic element in the movie. Both Sam and Anthony dote on his pet pooch, so separation trauma causes Sam to mimic Parker Posey in "Best in Show." I assume Miss Bennett deserves credit for improvising the following lamentation: "Do anything, but don't take the doggie away from me. Don't let somebody else be his mommy."

She appeases her doggie sorrow by sleeping with a couple of guys on the rebound, including a larcenous lowlife called Tony T. Sam's prospects evidently are so bleak that she ends up doubling back to Anthony, even though he has been caddish enough to mock her genitals for all to hear or at least for the few and the stupefied who actually catch up with "Some Body" to hear.

Another cutting-edge interlude observes Sam in a cute demonstration of how her favorite sex toy is supposed to work, for the edification of one of those rebound guys, Sean Michael Allen as Bobby, who does a vanishing act soon afterward. I guess it's hard to know what men are seeking. Was Miss Bennett looking for a self-made breakthrough, like Sylvester Stallone at the time of "Rocky"?

Time will tell if this humiliating vehicle does much for her as a professional provocation. It could cost her more teaching jobs than it gains her acting jobs, but maybe that impulse is integral to the subtext of "Some Body."


No Stars

TITLE: "Some Body"

RATING: R (Occasional profanity and sexual candor, fleeting nudity, simulations of drug use, an interlude emphasizing sex toys, thematic preoccupation with promiscuity)

CREDITS: Directed by Henry Barrial. Written by Mr. Barrial and Stephanie Bennett.

RUNNING TIME: 77 minutes

MAXIMUM RATING: FOUR STARS

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