[Screen It]


(1999) (Gibson Frazier, Susan Egan) (R)

Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Tense Scenes
Mild None Heavy Minor Moderate
Mild None None None Extreme
Smoking Tense Family
Topics To
Talk About
Moderate Extreme None Minor Moderate

Comedy: Upon learning that he has one last shot at saving his job, a Manhattan newspaper reporter with a 1920's point of view and lifestyle sets out after a big scoop while trying to deal with various assorted characters in his life.
Johnny Tweenies (GIBSON FRAZIER) is an old-fashioned and ever chipper newspaper reporter for the New York Sun-Telegram. In fact, he's so old-fashioned that people would swear he was straight from the 1920s based on the way he acts, talks and dresses. His art gallery girlfriend, Samantha Winter (SUSAN EGAN), thinks he's swell, but is beginning to get fed up with his decidedly less than amorous ways, a point she complains about to her gay co-worker, Richard Lancaster (DWIGHT EWELL).

Yet Johnny's as oblivious to Samantha's longings as he is to the importance -- or lack thereof -- of the stories he covers in his daily column. His newly assigned photographer and Richard's former lover, Timothy Burns (ANTHONY RAPP), obviously senses it, and thus takes artsy-craftsy pictures instead of ones related to the stories they're covering.

Of course the ever optimistic Johnny always wants to help out his fellow human being, and taking pity on Virginia Clemens (CARA BUONO), a recently out of work but aspiring opera singer, gets her a job at a record store where she manages to impresses Roman Navarro (FRANK GORSHIN), a presumed opera impresario.

Nevertheless, Johnny's attention must return to work when he learns that his job is to be cut. Hoping to capitalize on a story involving a local crime lord and his henchman, including the violent tempered Tyrus (ALAN DAVIDSON), who have recently threatened him, Johnny races against time to investigate and write his story while simultaneously trying to please Samantha, his mother, and various other people.

A few teens may be drawn to the unique sounding idea, but most probably won't even know anything about this picture.
For language.
  • GIBSON FRAZIER plays the fast-talking, always confident and chipper newspaper reporter whose only real vice is smoking, which he does throughout the film, as well as using what some may consider to be dated and thus politically incorrect language. Otherwise he's always a gentleman with his girlfriend and helps other people.
  • SUSAN EGAN plays his art gallery girlfriend who gets fed up with him not delivering amorous affection to her. As such, she tries seducing him and then uses strong profanity several times.
  • ANTHONY RAPP plays Johnny's newly assigned photographer, a surly and artsy-craftsy fellow.
  • ALAN DAVIDSON plays a thug who constantly uses strong profanity and threatens people with his gun.
  • CARA BUONO plays an aspiring opera singer.


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.

    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).

    The following is a brief summary of the content found in this R-rated comedy. Profanity is extreme due to at least 36 uses of the "f' word, with other profanities and colorful phrases also occurring. Several characters are criminals (thus having bad attitudes) and threaten (with weapons) and/or fight with Johnny and others in certain scenes.

    A female character is upset that Johnny has yet to be amorous with her, and thus tries to seduce him in one scene. Several characters are noted as being gay (although no activity is seen) and we see that an older man -- clad in S&M garb -- has bound and gagged a woman for some sort of S&M activity.

    Beyond all of that, some drinking, the possible presence of drugs and the fact that a character smokes throughout most of the film, the remaining categories are mostly void of any major objectionable content. Nevertheless, and as always, should you still be concerned about the film's appropriateness for anyone in your home, we suggest that you take a closer look at the more detailed content listings.

  • Tyrus interrogates a fidgety man who says that he's a "little short" and wonders if he has any "stuff." Tyrus then throws him a small packet of what's presumably drugs of some sort.
  • People have drinks in a restaurant, including Johnny and Samantha who have champagne.
  • Samantha pours a single drink for herself and Johnny (but neither drink from it).
  • Timothy has wine while Johnny orders a gimlet. Samantha then comes in and downs two cocktails in rapid fire succession.
  • People drink in a club.
  • Johnny tells the family butler to serve dinner wine and cocktails to the guests and then later asks him for a drink for himself.
  • None.
  • Some men have both for stealing Virginia's bike.
  • Tyrus and his thug partner have both for being a crime boss' henchmen who repeatedly threaten Johnny and those he knows.
  • Timothy has a surly attitude toward everyone, and instead of taking regular newspaper photos, takes artsy-craftsy ones instead.
  • Johnny's vocabulary comes from the 20s and some of what he says or calls people ("Honest Indian," calling women "dames," etc…) may be somewhat offensive to some viewers. In addition, one fantasy type sequence has an Asian man as a typical old style movie villain.
  • We learn that Navarro agreed to help Virginia just so that he could lure her into his S&M lair.
  • Some may find scenes listed under "Violence" as suspenseful, but all of them are played in a screwball comedy fashion.
  • Handguns/Switchblade: Used by various characters to threaten others. See "Violence" for details.
  • Phrases: "Shut the f*ck up," "You f*cking piece of sh*t," "You f*cked up," "Bitch" (for a man and a woman), "Shove ‘em up your ass," "Shut up," "Moron" and "Sucks."
  • It's possible some kids might want to imitate Johnny's 1920s speech, dress and behavior.
  • None.
  • None.
  • None.
  • At least 36 "f" words (1 used sexually and what sounded like 1 used with "mother"), 7 "s" words, 2 craps, 2 asses (1 used with "hole"), 1 hell, and 11 uses of "G-damn," and 1 use each of "Oh my God" and "God" as exclamations.
  • Samantha complains about her relationship with Johnny stating that they haven't even got past "first base." Richard then asks if she wants to "get busy" with Johnny and she replies in the affirmative. He then says that she needs to give Johnny directions to "show him how to get home."
  • Although we don't see any activity, we learn that Timothy and Richard used to live together as lovers.
  • Wanting to be amorous with Johnny, Samantha feigns an injury to get him onto her sofa. She then asks if he can undo her dress (from behind, he does and we see the back of her bra) and then jumps on top of him stating that she wants him, but they then end up rolling off the sofa. He then gets up telling her that although he likes her, what she's doing isn't decent. She then asks if he's gay (but he interprets that in the ‘20s meaning and not referring to being homosexual) and then if he's "bi" (but he similarly interprets that in a different way than she intended). As she escorts him out, she says, "I just want you to make love to me."
  • Tyrus makes a threat about Samantha saying, "I will skull f*ck her."
  • We learn that Navarro agreed to help Virginia just so that he could lure her into his S&M lair. Johnny then sees the older Navarro dressed in his leather S&M garb with Virginia gagged and bound to a chair. Later, Virginia admits that Navarro tried to make her open his zipper with her teeth.
  • Johnny smokes around fifteen times, while various miscellaneous characters smoke and an old-time cigarette girl sells cigarettes in a restaurant.
  • None.
  • The way in which behavior, slang and clothing have changed over the times (as evidenced by Johnny's clash with today's world).
  • Two men accost Virginia, with one of them lifting her off her bike. Johnny then comes to her rescue, but one of the men then pulls out his switchblade and threatens Johnny with it. Johnny however, quickly punches him, knocking him unconscious and causing the other man to race off with the bike.
  • As Tyrus and his thug partner accost Johnny, he smacks Tyrus. The partner then holds his gun to Johnny's head, but Johnny then grabs Tyrus' gun and forces the two to leave.
  • Tyrus grabs Johnny, pushes him back against a wall and then holds a gun on him. He then makes a threat about Samantha saying, "I will skull f*ck her."
  • After Johnny hears sounds of Navarro and Virginia struggling, he hits the faux impresario's bodyguard over the head with a coffee pot. Johnny then repeatedly slaps Navarro (after seeing that he's bound and gagged Virginia) and then hits the bodyguard again on their way out.
  • In a fantasy representing reality, Johnny hits a man with a trash can, while another throws a knife at Johnny (that he catches in his bare hands). Tyrus' partner then hits Johnny over the back and head, knocking him out.
  • Tyrus fires a warning shot into the ceiling and then holds his gun on Johnny, forcing him to type a story.
  • Johnny breaks the chair in which he's tied, and Tyrus later takes the chair and smashes it to the floor.
  • Navarro briefly tries to choke Johnny.
  • Johnny smacks a crime boss.

  • Reviewed November 19, 1999 / Posted November 26, 1999

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