Smiling Fish & Goat On Fire
** BM
Starring: Steven Martini, Derick Martini, Rosemarie Addeo, Christa Miller, Bill Henderson


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This is a lower-budget film, so I realize they had some limitations going in, but I think they could have afforded some interesting events in the plot. It's just about a couple of brothers with lame lives and Indian nicknames from their grandmother.

Steven Martini is Tony, "Smiling Fish" because he's 'a happy-go-lucky' sort. Derick Martini is Chris, "Goat On Fire" because he's 'uptight.' They live together, and their parents are dead. Hijinks... or actually, pretty much lojinks... some of the lowest jinks I've seen in a while... well, they ensue. Chris is involved with his high school sweetheart who keeps crying whenever they have sex and won't tell him why. Tony sleeps around. Chris' relationship sours and somehow a beautiful Italian woman named Anna (Rosemarie Addeo) picks him out at a party and zeroes in on him. Tony meets Mail Lady Kathy (Christa Miller) and her daughter and feels his first love-esque feelings for someone. Chris' first girlfriend won't leave him alone so easily, and Kathy wants to move to Wyoming. I'm pretty sure this is supposed to be a romantic comedy, but there's nothing particularly romantic and a lot of attempts at comedy that were most likely in-jokes with the Martini clan or attempts to be "The Brothers McMullen."

There's also a subplot with an old actor named Clive (Bill Henderson), playing the role of the wise love guru who steers Chris towards Anna and keeps relating tales of his true magic love. I think we were supposed to be moved by this. Of course, he dies, because he's old in a movie about young guys. He's not a particularly good character either, but he's pretty much the most interesting one.

Steven Martini looks creepy and weird and dopey, and I just can't buy the babe from the Drew Carey show going for him. Chris isn't scintillating, so I definitely can't really see the fabulous Italian vixen staying with him after just gravitating towards him for his decent enough appearance. Of course, the women don't have characters with any real spark either, so maybe it's not so hard to understand.

There's a complete lack of unpredictable events in this film. There's even an argument to be made about the complete lack of events in this film. Definitely nothing in here that merits such a goofball name. Don't let it fool you into thinking it's original.

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