Is That a Gun in Your Pocket?

Is That a Gun in Your Pocket?

2016, NR, 97 min. Directed by Matt Cooper. Starring Andrea Anders, Matt Passmore, Horatio Sanz, John Michael Higgins, John Heard, Lauren Bowles, Cloris Leachman, Katherine McNamara, Fernanda Romero, Christine Estabrook, Kevin Conway, David Denman, Marshall Bell, Garren Stitt.

REVIEWED By Marjorie Baumgarten, Fri., Sept. 30, 2016

That sound you hear in the distance might be Aristophanes rolling in his grave. His timeless Lysistrata, a comedy about women who withhold sex from their men until they give up war, finds its latest interpretation in this cheesy film by Matt Cooper. Set in the mythical Texas town of Rockford, Is That a Gun in Your Pocket? is a vulgar take on Aristophanes’ story, which has been reworked through the millennia to accommodate the needs of various epochs and situations. Just last year, Spike Lee in Chi-Raq updated the play (with debatable degrees of success) to address the rampant gun violence in today’s Chicago. Is That a Gun, however, resorts to smutty humor and moralistic speeches to confront the issue of American gun violence in the wake of Newtown, Conn. This movie uses those murdered babies’ name in vain.

The twist in Cooper’s version is that the women want the men to relinquish all their guns after a mishap occurs when a schoolboy “borrows” his father’s Mauser and accidentally shoots the crossing guard in the ass. The boy’s mother Jenna (Anders) leads the abstinence strike. An NRA-like organization comes to the men’s defense, offering to ship in hookers and provide the town with millions of dollars to keep things as they are. Stilted performances, and jokes like the sign that lists the town’s population as 6,969 further drag down this cornpone comedy. And the appearance of Cloris Leachman as the randy old woman who brandishes her dildo and cracks crude sexual jokes is the nail in this film’s coffin.

Go ahead and separate Texas men from their guns if you must, but think long and hard before you try to pass off such goings-on as comedy.

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS FILM

Is That a Gun in Your Pocket?, Matt Cooper, Andrea Anders, Matt Passmore, Horatio Sanz, John Michael Higgins, John Heard, Lauren Bowles, Cloris Leachman, Katherine McNamara, Fernanda Romero, Christine Estabrook, Kevin Conway, David Denman, Marshall Bell, Garren Stitt

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