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Reel lives

By BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  August 2, 2006

When we meet him, the hard hitter has one loss and 23 KOs, but the build-up to his winning the world lightweight championship bout is more than the speed bag and sparring. Having seen his boxer friend Bobby Tomasello die from a beating in the ring, Balleto works for the establishment of the first union in the business. Sweet Dreams packs more than one punch, you might say.

Expiration Date | 2005, USA, 94 min | Directed by Rick Stevenson | Written by Hamish Gunn and Rick Stevenson | Aug 9, 9:15 pm | Columbus Theater
While this comedy’s last act self-destructs from plot contrivance, the entertaining getting there makes the trip worthwhile. How can the premise not be fun? Charlie Silvercloud III (Robert A. Guthrie) has a week to go till his 25th birthday, and the list he’s checking off has tasks like canceling his phone service and buying a burial plot. See, when both his father and grandfather hit that quarter-century mark, each was promptly and fatally struck by a milk truck.

Needless to say, he meets a young woman who gives him reason to live, a non-starter in his case. Bessie Smith (Sascha Knopf) has a pet terrier named Roadkill because it likes playing dead. And she may have cancer, so they’re a match made in if not heaven then at least its waiting room. The set-up of Expiration Date is composed of bits and set-pieces that hold together well, such as the running gag of Charlie’s ex-girlfriend, who thinks he broke up with her because of her thighs, biting into donuts in front of him like she’s tearing into his jugular.

On the Web
Sweet Dreams's Web site:
Expiration Date's Web site:

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