'Art Show Bingo': Film Review
An aspiring artist finds the road to romance is bumpy in Matthew Fine's indie comedy.
That two of its central characters are named after the Wright Brothers is the most original aspect of Matthew Fine's indie romantic comedy. It may be damning with faint praise to say that it's likeable enough, but that's the best way to describe Art Show Bingo. Destined to be forgotten by viewers before the end credits have finished rolling, the film features some pretty people and scenic Virginia Beach locations. But that's pretty much it.
The inconsequential plot concerns siblings Wil (James Maslow) and Orrie (Jesse Pepe) — their father is apparently a big fan of aviation — who have a passion for painting and filmmaking, respectively. Wil has abandoned his artistic aspirations to please his father, known as "The Storage King," who wants his sons to one day take over his storage facility business. But when Wil's ex-girlfriend Susan (Lillian Solange Beaudoin) invites him to exhibit his paintings at an outdoor art fair on the beach, he's unable to resist. Orrie tags along with the intention of making a documentary about the whole affair.
During the fair, Wil meets and quickly falls for the purple-haired Rachel (Ella Lentini), who returns his affections. But their budding relationship threatens to become derailed, both by Susan's jealousy and Orrie's unfortunate decision to film the young lovers frolicking at night on the beach. Neither hilarity nor anything particularly interesting ensue. The film attempts to garner comic mileage from its gallery of quirky characters often corresponding to those illustrated in the lighthearted game that provides its title. But most of them are walking clichés, such as the pretentious art show judge who dresses all in black. Care to guess from which East Coast city he hails?
Maslow and Pepe's attractiveness and charm go a long way toward making the proceedings palatable. While we're never actually invested in the fate of their characters' relationship, they make the 90-minute running time go by fairly painlessly. The same can't be said of several of the supporting players who overplay shamelessly, nor the copious amount of mediocre artwork on display.
Distributor: Indie Rights
Cast: James Maslow, Lillian Solange Beaudoin, Ella Lentini, Carlo Patrick Sciortino Jesse Pepe, John Wilkins III
Director-executive producer: Matthew Fine
Screenwriters: Matthew Fine, Emile Husson
Producers: Jeffrey Fine, Vernon Guinn
Director of photography: David Haycox
Production designer: Jack Ryan
Editor: Mike Diller
Costume designer: Debbie Hanson
Casting: Matthew Lessall