Duane Incarnate (2004) / Comedy-Romance
MPAA Rated: Not rated, but probably R for language and sexual references
Running Time: 83 min.
Cast: Careleen Feeney, Cynthia Watros, Kristen Johnston, Crystal Bock, Cynthia Watros, Peter Hermann, Jim Gaffigan, Amber Cather, Josh Alexander, Danny Burstein, Tom Shillue, Lisa Terezakis
Director: Hal Salwen
Screenplay: Hal Salwen
Review published December 3, 2005
Gwen (Feeney, Denise Calls Up), Fran (Johnston, "3rd Rock from the Sun"), Connie (Watros, "Lost") and Wanda (Bock) and 30-something friends that hang out with each other seemingly every night they can, always enjoying the catty gossip they share about their significant others and their sex lives. Wanda happens to be the "ugly ducking" of the quartet, as she lacks the grace, looks and personality that would help her find a steady beau. As unlikely as it may seem, Wanda is beaming about her latest relationship with what would appear to be Mr. Perfect, Duane (Hermann). The three others think Duane is a figment of Wanda's fervent imagination, as he is just too good to be true, and certainly is a mismatch for Wanda, but they soon eat their words. They are completely at a loss as to how Wanda scored the catch of a lifetime, and become so fixated on finding a flaw in the relationship, they begin sticking their nose where it doesn't belong, trying to ruin it, but in the process, they might just ruin their own love lives.
Duane Incarnate is a largely enjoyable romantic comedy, definitely in keeping with other sassy womens entertainment, such as "Sex and the City" and its ilk. The premise is mostly sitcom, but Hal Salwen's insightful script keeps the comic angles coming, employing a few nifty twists to mislead you into thinking it will finally bog down with contrivance, but in the end, the film ends up right where it should. The comedy is sometimes broad, but the performers are always likeable enough to stick with, even when their behavior begins to border on the outlandish.
Women will probably enjoy this more than men, but it is inclusive enough in its commentary about the competitive nature among women, even among the best of friends, that men will also find it enlightening to a certain degree. It is a low budget production, filled with actors that generally appear mostly on television comedy shows, but if you like small, eccentric, independent comedies, Duane Incarnate is worth a look for a pleasant, charming, and sometimes hilarious, good time.
©2005 Vince Leo