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[Short Reviews]


Adapted from the Stephen Belber play by Richard Linklater, Tape is not much more than a claustrophobic actorís exercise, but it might be just the kind that the usually anemic Ethan Hawke could use. No more the vapid nice guy (even in Hamlet), heís Vince, a Jockey-briefs-wearing beer-swigging dope-dealing asshole. At times he even turns into Kevin Bacon. Vince is hosting high-school pal Johnny (Robert Sean Leonard), a supercilious indie filmmaker (here we go with the self-reflexivity) whoís premiering his first feature at the Lansing Film Festival, and he takes the opportunity to confront his friend about a possible date rape Johnny committed 10 years ago against fellow classmate Amy (Uma Thurman), Vinceís first crush and now a local assistant district attorney. Belberís play is minor-league Edward Albee, a gradual unveiling of deceptions with some zingers in the dialogue (mostly from Hawke) but ultimately a gimmick ó itís 85 minutes spent locked in a fetid motel room with unpleasant people and no punch line.


Issue Date: November 15 - 22, 2001

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