Elias Koteas (“The Thin Red Line,” “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”) is a fine actor. But he’s not necessarily the right actor to anchor a Federico Fellini-like, or Woody Allen-like, dramedy about a self-indulgent artist coming face to face with a lifetime of regret.
The miscasting of Koteas as the dominant voice and presence in Howard Goldberg’s “Jake Squared” — along with a script (by Goldberg) that is hard to follow and often boring — is the key reason this film is a chore to get through.
Koteas plays Jake, a 50-year-old movie director stewing over his checkered history with women and love. He decides to shoot an autobiographical film in his own home, casting a handsome actor (Mike Vogel) as a younger version of himself.
Jake chooses party scenes — complete with bikini-clad beauties in his hot tub — to be the main action for his film, though it is unclear why. In any case, the free-spirited atmosphere gives “Jake Squared” the Fellini-esque vibe Goldberg seeks, and the party quickly blurs into layers of time-warping, memory-based fantasy drawing Jake into a journey through his relationship history.
- NFL.com says Seahawks have most talented roster in league, and speculate on starting lineup
- 32 families face eviction with sale of Kirkland mobile-home park
- Microsoft employees -- past and present -- look back over the years
- Salary cap expert Joel Corry with another look at Russell Wilson's contract
- To retire at 55 takes big savings
Most Read Stories
As provocative and cinematically interesting as that might sound, Goldberg doesn’t display the kind of control needed for this sort of meta-storytelling. His best ideas — having younger versions of Jake (played by Kevin Railsback and Koteas) simultaneously show up — are fun. Others, such as Jake’s best friend (Virginia Madsen) delivering a monologue into the camera (Jake’s camera? Goldberg’s?), are confusing.
Ironically (or perhaps not, given the subject), the most interesting part of “Jake Squared” is the female cast: Madsen, Jane Seymour, Jennifer Jason Leigh. Whether playing real women or illusions, they bring much-needed emotional clarity to this story.
Tom Keogh: email@example.com