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USA 2007
Directed by
David Wain
92 minutes
Rated MA

Reviewed by
Bernard Hemingway
3 stars

The Ten

Sacriligious, scatalogical and blackly absurd, The Ten is a series of sketches that riffs in turn on each of the Ten Commandments, presented by a narrator/host Jeff (Paul Rudd), who is cheating on his wife (Famke Janssen) with a young flibbertygibbet (amusingly played by Jessica Alba).

As with most sketch comedy, some segments work better than others and as a feature the film suffers from the lack of anything more than the rudimentary titular connection and the reappearance of some of the characters to tie the sections together. It is surprising in this respect that writers Ken Marino and David Wain didn’t spend more time on working this into a full blown narrative as they are often enough highly inventive, albeit in a twisted way.

Whilst I was taken by the animated story of The Lying Rhino, that of Dr. Richie (Ken Marino), who leaves a pair of surgical instrument inside a woman as a "goof", and the segment about a group of men who get naked and indulge themselves listening to Roberta Flack while their wives are at church on Sunday, if the film has any claim to longevity it is probably going to be for the “Thou Shalt Not Steal” segment in which a self-abgnegating, if not desperate, Winona Ryder has wild sex with a ventriloquist's wooden dummy. The movie concludes with a musical number involving all the characters that presumably is intended as a kind of summing-up of the proceedings but which I quite literally could not understand.




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