Blame It on the Bellboy | Chicago Reader

Blame It on the Bellboy

A hotel bellboy (Bronson Pinchot) in Venice mixes up the itineraries of three guests—an oppressed office worker (Dudley Moore), a hit man (Bryan Brown), and a hefty lord sneaking away for an adulterous weekend (Richard Griffiths)—in a rather heartless and only half-funny English farce written and directed by newcomer Mark Herman. Though Herman's schematic script has plenty of cleverness and the Venice locations are attractive, the cruelty and vulgarity of certain scenes, including those involving torture, obesity, and dead birds, point to a dark and specifically English conception of farce that doesn't translate very readily into American notions of light fun, and the use of one-note characters to keep the plot legible tends to overmechanize things. With Patsy Kensit, Andreas Katsulas, Alison Steadman (Life Is Sweet), and Penelope Wilton.

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