0.5 Stars
Year Released: 2003
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 95 minutes
Click to Expand Credits:

For those fans of “24,” such as myself, that IS the Kim Murphy you are thinking of, if you checked out the “Credits” section of this review. She appeared as Bridget, Mandy’s lover in two episodes of the first season. After seeing “Burning Annie”, I’d say she got more out of sucking face with Mia Kirshner than what transpires here. That’s not to say that she’s completely terrible in this movie, but it does lead to the fact that what we’ve got here is a film that’s dead in the water. The real shame of it is that I received the press kit of “Burning Annie” as well and there’s a wittily written section entitled “Burning Beginnings: The Official ‘Cinderella Story’ of Burning Annie.” Whoever wrote that section should have helped with the script as well.
Before I get invisibly bitched at by any of you for putting in too many complaints and not enough evidence, let’s begin. We have Max (Gary Lundy), who hosts a radio show at his college, but doesn’t like anyone to listen. If he even suspects that anyone’s listening, he moves his time slot. Don’t ask me why because I still don’t know. That’s not the most important part of who he is, though. He was turned on to Woody Allen movies by his parents and found his source of inspiration in “Annie Hall”. Because of that, Max starts the movie off with a joke he heard, as the Woodster did in “Annie Hall” about the two women at the Catskill Mountains resort.
One of Max’s main women in this movie is Beth (Kim Murphy Zandell), who he’s friends with and nearly risks that friendship with a date that goes badly, mainly because of Max’s sarcastic look at potential love. There’s also Julie (Sara Downing), whom Max meets at a party and soon realizes that he may like her just because she’s like “Annie Hall”. With the exception of the bad driving and weed smoking, I don’t see much relation beyond that.
And what guy couldn’t go without his faithful troupe of friends? We’ve got Charles (Brian Klugman), who always has something to say. You’ll recognize him by his mop-top hair. Also hanging around is Sam (Jay Paulson), whose relationship with his girlfriend Jen (Kathleen Rose Perkins) has him on a leash, with her tugging on it. There’s also another cool dude named Scott (Jason Risner) who says next to nothing. Amanda (Rini Bell) tries to get through to him, but has no luck.
So there they are. The entire gang. Now with a group like that, you’ve obviously got to expect a crapload of dialogue, which is exactly where this film fails. Even with a look at many of these people’s relationship problems, there’s nothing remotely interesting to listen to when they talk. In this case, it’s the fault of the script, which doesn’t provide much of anything interesting to keep it going for as long as it does. It gets to the point where a constant look at how far the film has gotten time-wise doesn’t help. It just drags….and drags……………………and drags.
With all of that said, it might be proper to end on an ironic note. There’s a scene in “Burning Annie” where Max and Sam are sitting on a couch playing hockey on a Nintendo 64 (Video game enthusiasts will likely be able to identify the controllers pretty damn quickly). Talk between them turns to how their lives would be as a movie and Sam says, “Our lives would make a terrible movie”. Max shushes him up and says that that sort of statement would give enough to the critics to chew on. Mind you, this is not toward the audience at all. However, Sam’s got a point that is incredibly true. Their lives DO make a terrible movie.

Posted on July 28, 2003 in Reviews by

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