5 Hour Friends

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Sand Trap City

Sizemore-GolfCart_zps528bc34f

Starring: Tom Sizemore, Kimberlin Brown

Review written by Robert D. Patrick

Foppish attire and the plunking of piano keys, an ethereal hum of ambient noise that coils around cocktail glasses and crestfallen necks. Director Theo Davies wants you to feel the buzz of spirits and the vapid nature of carnal encounters. He also wants you to know that repugnant, narcissistic womanizers, when given the proper serendipitous situation, can evolve to be rascally lovers with newfound sincerity.

Tom Sizemore plays Timothy Bonner, our antihero. Sporting a golf bag full of clubs as if they were assault rifles, the vociferous bullheaded dolt tees off on balls as if he’s hacking away at foliage with a machete.  In between being a tournament golfer and a boozehound, Bonner haplessly shuffles into darkly lit lounges with intent to gloat about his affluent recreational lifestyle. San Diego is the supporting character in this Theo Davies picture, and everything from the belly of Little Italy to our steely skyline is shown with teeth baring aplomb.

Bonner lacks the ability to be contrite, until he meets a fellow golfer in his club’s locker room. There, the diminutive and genial old man eschews loneliness that touches the barbed heart of our central character. Soon, Bonner is taking his new friend to swanky restaurants until eye-lolling hyuks are had. Eventually these  saccharine-like conversations about life, love, and patience quell Bonner’s acerbic bellyaching until he becomes a relative sweetheart. This sort of contrived nonsense hasn’t been so egregiously terrible since Richard Dreyfus sprouted his wonky head out from behind the shadows of the Parthenon in the Nia Vardalos’ My Life in Ruins. The maladroit simplicity of an older gentleman is the medicine that cures all psychological malaise. And when you throw the hand of a wispy, know-all love interest into the mix, you’re sure to have a Greek chorus for the ages.

Tom Sizemore looks the part of a downtrodden, emotionally eviscerated hack with the personality of a table saw. The actor’s performance, however, is another thing. Sizemore’s timing is so off that it looks as though he hasn’t taken a practice swing for ages. There is no discernible chemistry between him and any of the supporting actors, and, despite playing an incensed and bedraggled man, there is a sense that Sizemore looks so bored with the material that he is waiting to get lunch after the shoot. Of course, Ron Jackson’s insipidly diaphanous script doesn’t help matters, either. All of the dialogue in 5 Hour Friends is stifled by forced humor and self-help tape wisdom. As a film that attempts to find its concentric wellness in character study, everything the story represents seems farcical.

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Author: Rob Patrick

The program director of the Olympia Film Society, Rob is also a former San Diego Film Critics Society member. He has written for The East County Californian, The Alpine Sun, The East County Herald, The San Diego Entertainer, and the San Diego Reader. When he isn't curating a film festival, he is drinking rosé out of a plastic cup in Seattle or getting tattoos from Jenn Champion.

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