Kettle Of Fish

2006, Movie, R, 93 mins

Review

KETTLE OF FISH
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Forced to share an apartment, a commitment-phobic musician and a shy amphibian behaviorist resist romance in favor of their pet obsessions: she with the sex life of frogs and he with the woman he met on the way to her wedding. Jazz saxophonist Mel (Matthew Modine) has begun to worry that he'll never meet the right woman and settle into the kind of bliss his bandmate and best friend, Freddie (Isiah Whitlock Jr.), enjoys with Mindy (Gloria Reuben), his wife of 23 years. So he impulsively moves in with his Swedish girlfriend, Inga (Ewa Da Cruz), and sublets his apartment to frosty research scientist Ginger (the smoldering Gena Gershon, whose efforts to appear mousy are singularly unconvincing). Within days, he's infatuated with Diana (Christy Cashman), despite the fact that she's desperately rushing to her own wedding, to self-centered "yogurt king" Bruce Ledford (Fisher Stevens). When Inga throws him out, Mel is forced to share his own place with Ginger until she finds another sublet. Despite the evident romantic sparks between them, Mel persists in pursuing Diana, encouraged by the fact that her new marriage is clearly less than blissful. Mel even takes a job operating the elevator in her swank Central Park West apartment building so he can see her regularly, blithely unconcerned that his new schedule cuts into his time with the band. And Ginger insists she's through with love, though she's willing to be Mel's friend — especially if he'll let her study his music-loving goldfish, Daphne. There's no doubt that Mel and Ginger will eventually realize that they're made for each other, but it's to writer-director Claudia Myers' credit that rather than throwing a series of contrived obstacles in her characters' paths, she lets them sabotage themselves through pride, stubbornness and immaturity. If only there were some spark between Modine and Gershon (who's hampered by an annoying and unnecessary English accent) — it's a sorry state of affairs when a goldfish and a frog (Ginger's prize specimen, unsubtly named Casanova) have more chemistry than a romantic comedy's human leads. leave a comment --Maitland McDonagh

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Kettle Of Fish
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