2 Stars
Year Released: 2000
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 105 minutes
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Arnie (David Alex Rosen) has just bought a nice house in a nice neighborhood. There’s something about the house that gives Arnie the creeps, but he can’t put his finger on it until he finds out that the former owner was not an elderly couple, but a single woman who killed herself. And the house has mice. Two things that his real estate friend Joey (Jonathan Aube) forgot to mention. To make things worse, the recent deportee’s friend Tilly (Alexa Jago), an Australian National Geographic worker, has come to visit her. She can’t believe that her friend has committed suicide. Even after the family, the former agent, and the police have closed the case and accepted it as a suicide, Tilly begins her own investigation because, well, there wouldn’t be any plot without her misgivings. One thing leads to another, or more accurately, one thing doesn’t lead to another, but the plot moves on regardless. It all, somehow, leads up to a final confrontational meeting between Arnie, Tilly, and the murderer. Who’s the murderer? I don’t want to let the cat out of the bad, but when the cast has less than four people, it can become quite predictable.
“Soft Toilet Seats” is a comedy/mystery that is never able to get its feet off the ground. Let me rephrase the first sentence. This movie is a comedy that turns into a murder mystery. It never really establishes a comedic structure before it creates a mystery out of nothing, and expects the viewer to accept its faulty premise. I don’t want to sound like an unfair critic. I understand that I’m watching an independent film here, but the filmmakers weren’t short on equipment, or cash. The craft looks good, the soundtrack is good, even the acting is decent. I just don’t understand why certain filmmakers rely on cliché plots and stereotypical characters when they make their debut. Nothing seems fresh or daring. If you haven’t seen movies with these kinds of plots or characters, then you probably haven’t seen more than a half dozen movies in your whole life.

Posted on June 25, 2000 in Reviews by

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