Merging an Idealist Into Acquisitions
BY: Gene Seymour
DATE: 07-13-2001

(3 STARS) MERGERS & ACQUISITIONS. (U) Idealistic writer becomes a pawn in a corporate takeover bid. Pretty funny, too. Written and directed by Mitchell Bard. 1:35 (some vulgarity). Long Island International Cinema Expo, Malverne Cinema 4, Friday, 7:30 p.m.

WRITER-director Mitchell Bard's first feature is so up-to-the- minute it could break this morning on CNN. It's about an idealistic writer (Steven Chester Prince) who's been stuck for 10 years working for a family-run trade magazine about to be inhaled by a giant corporation. With a hippie mom (Jill Haworth) unable to live alone and debts piling up, the writer is being wooed by a corporate barracuda (Martha Byrne of "As the World Turns") to help facilitate the takeover.

The film, partly shot in Syosset and Huntington, has patches of awkward staging and stretches of blocky photography. But Bard, a Bayside resident, writes ingenious, snappy dialogue that his actors, including Lee Tergesen ("Oz") as a worldly-wise co-worker, have fun rolling around in their mouths. Also, it's rare at any time (but especially now) to find a movie that openly tackles the day-to- day dilemma of dealing with whatever this grab-and-get society hands you while being able to look at yourself in the mirror.

© Copyright 2001, Newsday Inc.

Gene Seymour, Merging an Idealist Into Acquisitions, 07-13-2001, pp

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