Film/Arts/Satire*
(*homocinematically inclined)

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Reel Thoughts: The Itty Bitty Titty Committee is Now in Session

But I’m a Cheerleader was director Jamie Babbitt’s well-received first film, which skewered ex-gay ministries and close-minded parents. Her new film, Itty Bitty Titty Committee, seeks to poke fun at other serious topics like the distorted body image ideal women are supposed to have, as well as the sexist politics of boob jobs, politically correct advocacy groups and even the Washington Monument. The title promises a rollicking good time — wild and hip and fresh — but Babbitt’s film is decidedly less entertaining and creative.

Anna (pretty Melonie Diaz) is an “Ugly Betty” who has just broken up with her girlfriend, and who is pretty much dumped on by everyone around her. Her beautiful sister is getting married soon, and it’s all her parents can think about lately. Anna works as a receptionist at a plastic surgery clinic, and one night she catches Sadie (Nicole Vicius) spray painting slogans on her office windows. Intrigued, she gets involved with Sadie’s group, “Clits In Action,” or the C(I)A as they’re known, and soon finds herself Sadie’s latest gal toy.

Sadie’s a serial cheater on her older and more uptight lover Courtney (Melanie Mayron, who resembles Patricia Clarkson here), and it almost seems as if every member of the C(I)A is an ex. Anna and Sadie’s slightly tortured relationship is weak and clich├ęd, while the mostly silly pranks that the group does and its strident preaching don’t prove much. However, the not especially convincing ending is nonetheless a hoot to watch as the women of C(I)A commandeer a talk show and give the television audience a heart attack. Suffice it to say, the Washington Monument’s looking especially phallic once they finish with it.

Babbitt’s biggest failing with the film is how irredeemably callous she allows Anna to be. She is rude and sullen to her totally accepting family and treats a transgender friend with unforgivable indifference. Overall, the film is sadly lacking in humor, which is promised in the title and which would have made the film infinitely better. Still, if you wanted to see how great Guinevere Turner (Go Fish) looks these days, and can forgive Babbitt’s heavy hand, Itty Bitty Titty Committee might warrant a visit, on DVD if not in theaters.

Click here to watch the Itty Bitty trailer, then click hereto pre-order the Itty Bitty DVD from Amazon.com, available September 2.

Review by Neil Cohen, resident film critic of Movie Dearest and Phoenix's Echo Magazine.

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