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.
Get the Film Club Newsletter
Stay up to date on the best new movies with our critics' latest reviews, interviews and trailers for the films coming to a theater near you each week.