Arts & Culture » Performing Arts Review

The Movie Game

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In this hapless comedy by the new Freshwater Theater Company, writer-director Adam Hummel tries to send up the cliches of romantic comedy while lazily using them. The protagonist, Jack, isn't defined by anything but cinephilia. A video store clerk who lives with his parents, he's advised by his whacked-out shrink to overcome the stasis in his life by behaving as if he were the leading man in his own movie. True to cinematic tradition, the schlub somehow gets hot if vapid chicks to fall for him. By surrounding Jack with stereotypes--an oddball director with a speech impediment, an uptight librarian sister (well played by Carolyn Jenson), an overbearing mother, a grumpy father--Hummel inadvertently answers a question posed by one of his characters: "Is it me, or did we slip into a contrived sitcom plot about five minutes ago?" Through 6/25: Thu-Sat 7:30 PM. Chicago Actors Studio, 1567 N. Milwaukee, 773-301-5366. $15.

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