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Dialogue won't bend with gender changes

November 03, 2006|Michael Phillips | Chicago Tribune

Imagine if having a latent Z-chromosome allowed you to change genders every time you had an orgasm. It's up to the viewer to imagine it, because writer-director Martin Curland hasn't done a very good job in "Zerophilia," a half-silly, half-earnest indie with the soul of a John Hughes-era sex comedy.

College-age Luke (Taylor Handley, the mean guy Oliver on "The O.C.") has a wholly unconvincing hookup one night in the woods with a woman whose gift to him is the awakening of his rare genetic disorder. Thereafter, whenever Luke is near the girl he luvs (Rebecca Mozo) he starts growing breasts. In his fully female form Luke becomes Luca (Marieh Delfino) and finds him/her/Z-self attracted not to his gal but his gal's brother (Kyle Schmid).

How does it all work out? Just fine, because the fictional ramifications of the Z-chrome afford a person twice the sexual options and three times the gender awareness and sensitivity.

In Curland's weirdly tame picture, though, it does not afford any decent dialogue. "What's it like?" asks Luke's guy friend, played by Dustin Seavey, regarding the female life. "I don't know. The same, I guess," Luke replies. That's not an interesting enough reply for a first draft, let alone a finished film.



MPAA rating: Unrated

Distributed by Microangel Releasing. Writer-director Martin Curland. Running time: 1 hour, 32 minutes.

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