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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.

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