Sex and JFK's assassination are intertwined in this puerile, pseudodark story about a wacky family--an adaptation of Wendy MacLeod's play that uses the medium of cinema mainly to exploit archival footage.
Written and directed by Mark Waters, who strives for David Mamet-style punchiness but doesn't develop the quirky momentum that would carry the deliberately out-of-kilter story past its implausibilities.
Stylized dialogue tends to play awkwardly onscreen -- we're conditioned to naturalistic conversation in films -- and Waters, who makes his feature directing debut with The House of Yes, fails to create an emotional tone or attitude to match the characters' goofy repartee.
With its Rocky Horror meets Camelot aura, this little black movie reeks of self-satisfied smugness and pretentious perversity as only a Sundance Festival favorite can -- especially one that squanders the considerable quirky charms of indie-film darling Parker Posey. [10Oct1997 pg 04.D]