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'Whipped': Sex and the single idiot


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(CNN) -- Outside of huffing paint thinner, you'd be hard-pressed to find a more useless way to burn off your brain cells than Peter M. Cohen's "Whipped."

Cohen has written and directed a "sex comedy" that's so coarse and moronic you actually feel embarrassed for the technicians who were forced work on it. You don't, however, feel sorry for Cohen and the movie's producers. They're obviously aiming for a gutter-level audience that'll laugh at pretty much anything having to do with retarded sexual development.

Cohen shoots visually competent footage...and that's all the praise he'll be getting in this review. "Whipped" is one long attempt to either offend people or titillate them with the idea that other people are being offended. Once again, all it takes to manage something like this is the proper amount of money and the lack of self-respect necessary to do it. Talent is optional, if not an outright hindrance.

"Whipped" is an especially crass version of a movie that you've already seen several times before. If you consider that an accolade, then you deserve what you get.

Cohen marches out three interchangeable yuppie louses (poorly played by Brian Van Holt, Zorie Barber and Jonathan Abrahams), establishes that they're misanthropic, conniving scumbags, then has them discuss, in graphic detail, their juvenile sexual escapades. They also have a married friend (Judah Domke) who's viewed as a loser for settling down with just one woman. The boys repeatedly meet in a diner and fall into vulgarity-strewn conversations that alternate between stupidity and utter repugnance. That way, the movie can jump from one interlude to the next without being constrained by such archaic concerns as a real story or a sense of purpose.

You're not likely to confuse this with Proust, or "Animal House" (1978), for that matter. Abrahams' character is the most fully-developed of the three central protagonists, due to his falling mute around beautiful women. This leads to lonely, regimented rounds of masturbation. The other two have absolutely no qualms about using and discarding whoever they can get their hands on. The women they approach, far from being passive victims, often shimmy and preen like they're trying to attract an antelope. If this is an accurate depiction of the modern American dating scene, someone needs to cordon off the country.

The movie's marketing campaign plays up the presence of Amanda Peet, a sexy, funny young actress who made a big impression in the recent Bruce Willis comedy, "The Whole Nine Yards." Well, she's here, all right. But she doesn't show up until the second half of the film, by which time you're so appalled you're searching for the nearest exit. Cohen uses Peet's character to make the not especially shrewd point that women are every bit as capable of acting like pigs as men. Peet will eventually get her shot at the big time, because she deserves it. It'll just take her a while to live this one down.

"Whipped" is embarrassing. There's lots of sexual situations and so much profanity you think you've stumbled into a badly failed Richard Pryor monologue. Bring a pad and pencil if you're looking for happenin' new slang that denotes intercourse. Rated R. 83 minutes long, which will give you ample time to wonder why you should go on.

Review: Mob comedy 'The Whole Nine Yards' not a 10
February 28, 2000


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