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MOVIE REVIEW : Wise's 'Life' Is Anything but Nice

October 04, 1991|KEVIN THOMAS | TIMES STAFF WRITER

At the end of "Life Is Nice . . ." (at the AFI/USA Independent Showcase at the Monica 4-Plex in Santa Monica), feature debuting writer-director Forest Wise switches from black-and-white to color, and one of his two young layabouts remarks to the other that now they have a new source of income--the "idiots" who have paid to sit through 90 minutes of their story up there on the screen. Too bad the warning doesn't come at the beginning of the film, for "Life Is Nice . . ." is about as tedious as a movie can get.

Unemployed, spending their time chain-smoking and beer-guzzling, Josh (Wise) and Silo (Mike Dytri) get by through their skill at poker and by selling their blood.

Josh's girlfriend Clara (Kia Collins), fed up with him, dramatically transfers her affections to the surprised Silo, who asks, "How can you love me? I'm just like Josh."

Precisely, but Clara, full of affectations but also ambition, seems to be one of those women driven to try to change the men in her life.

"Life Is Nice . . ." (Times-rated Mature for language) celebrates the joys of male bonding, of living for the moment.

Trouble is, neither Josh nor Silo is as interesting to us as they are to themselves or to each other.

'Life Is Nice . . .'

Forest Wise: Josh

Mike Dytri: Silo

Kia Collins: Clara

A Freakie Pig production. Writer-director-producer Forest Wise. Line producer R. Charles Holmes. Cinematographer Eric J. Swanson. Editor Maciek Malish. Music Jesse Loya. Running time: 1 hour, 30 minutes.

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