Mario Van Peebles Ties Woman to a Chair in Tied to a Chair
Introducing eclectic elements on a whim without generating any actual whimsy, Tied to a Chair details the high-wire adventures that engulf mistake-prone housewife Naomi (Bonnie Loren) after she ditches her British husband to pursue her long-discarded acting aspirations. That mission takes her to the Cannes Film Festival, where she demands to be the lead in faded-star Billy Rusts (Mario Van Peebles) new project, which he views as a sell-out (the script was written by a computer program) that will hopefully kickstart his career, and which would require Naomi to be bound to a chaira situation she mystifyingly refers to as every womans dream. Writer/director Michael Bergmanns herky-jerky time-jumping edits result in comedic and narrative arrhythmia and a sense of disorienting affectation that only mounts once Naomi travels to New York for a screen test and becomes unwittingly embroiled in Billys faked-death ruse, shenanigans involving her mobster fathers goons, and a terrorist plot by immigrant cabbies whose vehicles have ejector seats. Naomis sudden adeptness at hot-wiring cars and speaking Arabic supposedly proves that she really is a great actress, but Lorens performance is as tonally off as the rest of Bergmanns jokey lark, which strings together characters and twists with amateurishly chaotic abandon.
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