Lightyear Entertainment // 2005 // 75 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Clark Douglas // April 22nd, 2009
Opie prefers food to women. Is there a recipe to his heart?
First, let's answer the question that you are undoubtedly asking right now. No, this is not a documentary about the first time actor-turned-director Ron Howard got a taste of the good stuff.
In this film, Opie (played by writer/director James Ricardo) is a 30-year-old geek who lacks any sort of social life. He sits at home eating all kinds of horrible junk food and whacking off to his massive collection of pornography. He has never had sex and all of his dates have gone horribly. Opie doesn't particularly care. Opie doesn't care about much of anything. He's a deadpan geek who simply minds his own business and lets life come to him. He doesn't work, simply collecting unemployment for as long as the government will allow him to continue doing so. Opie's life is incredibly dull. As the title ever-so-subtly implies, Opie's life is about to change in a particularly sexual way.
One day, a girl named Thai (April Wade, Day of the Dead 2: Contagium) knocks on Opie's door. She enters his apartment, hangs out with him, shares some weed with him, and begins to pry into his personal life. Opie accepts all of this attention with a disgruntled resignation. After Thai's many failed attempts to find a girlfriend for Opie, she decides to just sleep with him herself. And so the affair begins. Things are going smashingly until Thai's lesbian lover Dakota (Ute Werner, Las Vegas) enters the picture and decides to get revenge on Thai by sleeping with Opie herself. To complicate matters even further, Opie begins sleeping with Rain (Jesselyn Desmond, Do Not Disturb), a gun-toting oddball. When all three women find out about the situation, they inform Opie that he has to make a decision.
Let's begin with the positive: Opie Gets Laid wasn't quite what I expected it to be. I thought the film would be yet another cheapo sex comedy featuring clichéd plot developments and plenty of gratuitous nudity. The packaging certainly seems to suggest that sort of film. In actuality, the film feels more like a stage adaptation than anything else. Almost the entire film (save for a few brief flashbacks) takes place inside Opie's apartment. Even more surprisingly, we are shown no actual sexual content whatsoever, just a series of dialogue scenes serving as the "before" and "after" for dozens of brief but apparently successful sexual encounters. The editing is tight, the dialogue is occasionally quite amusing (Example: "Most people would agree with me." "Yeah, well, most people think The Waterboy is a good movie, so what do they know?"), and the film rarely becomes terribly boring. There are many individual attributes of merit here, so it's a little disappointing that the film as a whole doesn't quite gel.
The primary problem is actually Opie himself. As written by Ricardo, the character has a lot of potential, but as played by Ricardo, he's just not very interesting. Opie is impossible to sympathize with or care about in any way. He's a self-absorbed snark factory who delivers all of his lines in a slightly bitter deadpan. The writing is good, but the problem is that Ricardo's performance suggests that he knows his writing is good. He delivers the dialogue with a sort of smug assurance that feels more like a tell than like a natural extension of the character's personality. The film's finale might be satisfactorily cathartic, if we actually wanted Opie to achieve any sort of catharsis. Given the way the characters behave in the film, I'm wondering if it might have been funnier if the tables had been turned the other way.
The females all provide their fairly limited characters with a surprising measure of life and personality. Unfortunately, it's a little difficult to get around the fact that all of them are inflicted with a measure of idiocy that seems to contradict the intelligence they demonstrate during the dialogue scenes. Do I believe that these girls would sleep with a dolt like Opie? Sure, such things happen all the time in this funny world. Do I believe they would agree to become his sex slaves in 2-day-a-week shifts? Uh, no. Disappointingly, when things are all said and done, the film forces the girls to pay for their irresponsibility and lets the lazy chauvinist off the hook. It's a sadly typical conclusion for a film that tries hard not to be typical.
The transfer isn't very impressive. Flesh tones seem particularly off, at times seeming much too green or yellow. The film was evidently shot with a pretty cheap digital camera, as we get severe blurring during moments when a character moves too quickly. Blacks aren't particularly deep, and the level of detail isn't too impressive. Also underwhelming is the audio, with many of the dialogue seems suffering from poor recording. In addition, the classical music score (an admittedly cool touch, aside from the groan-worthy use of Wagner's "Ride of the Valkyries") is dialed up a bit too loud from time to time. Two audio commentaries are included on the disc: a rather dry track with Ricardo by himself, and a more amusing track with Ricardo and the rest of the cast.
Opie Gets Laid wins points for breaking some genre conventions, and I have no doubt that Ricardo and some of the others involved here have a good deal of potential in the world of filmmaking. Here's hoping they can harness their talents to a stronger film next time around.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: Lightyear Entertainment
* 1.78:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
Running Time: 75 Minutes
Release Year: 2005
MPAA Rating: Not Rated