BENNY & JOLENE ★ Directed by Jamie Adams. Starring Charlotte Ritchie, Craig Roberts, Dolly Wells, Rosamund Hanson Club, IFI, Dublin, 88 min
Let’s get the excuses out of the way first. Shot for a mere ¤14,000, Jamie Adams’s feature debut took just a few busy days to film. This doesn’t make it any less terrible, but we can at least attest that it is terrible for a reason. It would be a genuine sin if serious money had been spent on such a weak, rheumy little beast.
What we have here is an improvised comedy about a folk duo – weedy Benny (Craig Roberts) and annoying Jolene (Charlotte Ritchie) – on a tour of Wales after, apparently, securing some sort of surprise hit. Every scene is improvised into stuttering, muttering, directionless tedium, not in any way alleviated by the promiscuous jump cuts.
The overwhelming impression is of a cast trying desperately to fill up time before the film-makers release them from whatever indenture keeps them tied to such a doomed project.