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Sterile 'Vasectomy'

September 26, 1986|KEVIN THOMAS

"Vasectomy" (citywide) is so awful you wonder how its makers ever managed to raise the funds to produce it.

It's only tangentially about the subject of its title. Uppermost in the mind of a small-town bank vice president (Paul Sorvino) is how to shape up the playboy son (Gary Raff) of his late boss (Lorne Greene) so as not to lose control of the organization to Greene's greedy, conniving relatives. If Sorvino's efforts are successful and the bank remains profitable a year after Greene's death, Sorvino will receive a $500,000 bonus.

Certainly, he could use the money. He and his wife (Cassandra Edwards) have eight young sons and Sorvino, manager of the local softball team, wants enough kids to have a team of his own. But his wife has had enough and announces that she's banning him from their bed until he gets a vasectomy; she won't settle for less, pointing out that other birth-control methods aren't foolproof.

If everything heavy-handed director Robert Burge (who wrote his script with Robert Hilliard) has devised concerning the bank and Greene's relatives is thuddingly unfunny, he fumbles even worse with the issue of vasectomy. It turns out that Edwards' doctor has told her that she's already had "one child too many" and that another would be far too risky. How could this come as news to Sorvino as well as us? How could this warm, loving husband and father not know his wife suffered a difficult, life-threatening birth the last time around? But then nothing adds up in this coarse, rambling mishmash.

Sorvino manages to give a credible performance in circumstances that are far beneath him. For that matter, this amateurish film's many roles are filled largely with familiar, reliable professionals. Your heart goes out to the cast; their hopeless predicament is what makes "Vasectomy" (rated an appropriate PG-13) truly depressing.

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