Year Released: 1996
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 29 minutes
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Oh, boy, I thought as Damian Dietz’ “I, Sinnamon” began unspooling in my VCR. Here we go with another “prostitute with a heart of gold” story. Well, kinda, but not really. For one thing, we’re not sure if the titular lady of the night really exists or if she’s simply a fragment of the anonymous lead character’s increasingly delusional mind. Seems his girlfriend has left him and he (Dietz) wants to end it all. Since he’s seen God, however, he knows that committing suicide will get him banished from heaven. So, in an inspired bit of creative parsing, he hires prostitute and sometime porn actress Sinnamon Holliday (Saadin Goddard), not to perform her usual carnal specialties, but to give him a lethal injection. As you might expect, she’s a bit reluctant to perform this service and lobbies him to change his mind. In the process, of course, the troubled, possibly mentally ill client and the Asian prostitute who pretends she’s black form an unlikely bond; the source of my initial alarm bells. How many times have we seen that? Not to worry, however, because it turns out, in a clever and unexpected twist, that Sinnamon’s identity problems are more complicated than we first imagined. “I, Sinnamon” starts out slow and, given that both of the highly irritating main characters are complete mental and physical messes, the urge to hit the “Eject” button grows throughout the first half or so of the film. Stay with it, though. For while I’d never go so far as to say “I, Sinnamon” is a groundbreaking and heartwarming film, it ultimately — finally — evolves into a worthwhile, unconventional tale about discovering self-worth and being true to yourself.
Posted on January 10, 2000 in Reviews by Merle Bertrand
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