Reflections

SXSW 2000 Film Festival and Conference

Loving Jezebel

Dir/Scr: Kwyn Bader; Cast: Hill Harper, Justin Pierre Edmund, David Moscow, Laurel Holloman, Nicole Ari Parker.

35mm, 87 min., 1999 (RP)

With equal parts trepidation and affection, we watch Theodorus Melville metamorphose from a romantically precocious grade-schooler to a fevered, Urkel-like adolescent to a libidinously impetuous college student to a sweet, self-doubting Don Juan. Theodorus Melville is Alfie with a heart. The problem is, the women Theodorus loves most are involved with other men, and he is slow to learn the painful lessons of such philandering. Exuberant direction, a fabulous cast, and terrific production values give this picture a sweetly thrumming pulse. It's a playful piece that never takes itself or cinematic conventions too seriously. In his first outing, Bader plays as fast and loose with his direction as Theo does with other men's women, with the same recklessly winning results. A goofy but thoroughly engaging lead, Harper manages to woo us along with his many conquests. Holloman is enchanting as the girl who can finally put an end to Theo's Jezebel affliction and she manages to shine amidst a screenful of gorgeous women. Funny, fast and fetching, Loving Jezebel is an auspicious debut. Fri, Mar 17, 2:15pm, Dobie

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