Film pieced from TV best viewed in pieces

Posted: July 06, 2001

Metrosexuality is cobbled together from a cult British television series and, as tattooed dancers cavort in skimpy underwear across the screen in the opening credits, the suspicion grows that we are not about to watch another episode of Masterpiece Theater.

Nor, in all candor, are we about to witness anything remotely close to a masterpiece. The tempo of this in-your-face soap opera makes the average rock video seem painfully sedate, and it's one of those love-it-or-hate-it propositions. Metrosexuality is occasionally amusing, but it's probably best watched episode by episode. Put them all together in a movie and the result is ultimately wearing.

Metrosexuality is set in London's Notting Hill, but not the posh part that formed the backdrop for Julia Roberts' romance with Hugh Grant. Here, the milieu is multiracial and multisexual, and heterosexuality amounts to deviant behavior.

The prevailing mood of insatiable sexual appetite is set by Rikki Beadle-Blair, the series creator, who plays the gay father of a sexually confused son (Noel Clarke). "Gay? Straight? Bi? Now? I can't keep up," he laments to the lad.

You may share this sense of confusion as the frenzied action goes through every conceivable (and some that aren't) pairing. Those with a taste for the outrageous will enjoy it in the certain knowledge that they'll never see anything like Metrosexuality on network television here.

Desmond Ryan's e-mail address is dryan@phillynews.com.

Metrosexuality ** 1/2

Directed and written by Rikki Beadle- Blair. With Beadle-Blair, Noel Clarke, Karl Collins, Paul Keating and Carleen Beadle.

Running time: 2 hours, 25 minutes.

Parent's guide: No MPAA rating (sex, profanity).

Showing at: noon Sunday, 9:15 p.m. Tuesday and 2:15 p.m. July 14.

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