FRANK AND PENELOPE
(director/writer: Sean Patrick Flannery; screenwriter: story by John Thaddeus; cinematographer: A.J. Raitano; editor: Chris Patterson; music: Rhyan D’Errico/Jared Forman cast: Billy Budinich (Frank), Caylee Cowan (Penelope), Johnathan Schaech (Chisos), Brian Maillard (Cleve), Sean Patrick Flannery (Club Manager), Donna D’Errico (Mabel), Sonya Eddy (Nurse), Lin Shave (Ophelia), Kevin Dillon (Sheriff Dalton); Runtime: 112; MPAA Rating: R; producers: Scott Dolezal, Van Scott Folger, Andrew Shebay; A Redbud release; 2022)
“For viewers who never got enough of Thelma and Louise.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
This is a B-movie for viewers who never got enough of Thelma and Louise and need to see it in another film.
Actor-turned-director, Sean Patrick Flannery, wants to make another rebellious outlaw Thelma and Louise film from the 1990s, as he crassly directs his first feature film. lt’s based on a story by John Thaddeus and scripted by Flannery. The director also acts in it.
Frank (Billy Budinich) catches his wife cheating on him. He thereby goes to a local strip club. There he meets the exotic pole dance Penelope (Caylee Cowan). They decide to run away together, and on Frank’s suggestion they go on a Thelma and Louise road trip in east Texas. Penelope agrees even though she never saw the film and doesn’t realize they will in the climax drive off a cliff, if they go all the way with the film.
Their trip leads them to a sadistic cult leader named Chisos (Johnathon Schaech), who goes gunning for them after they rob the motel he owns.
Cinematographer A.J. Raitano’s strangely beautiful candy colored desert shots aptly capture the offbeat atmosphere (the film excels in getting the mood right).
Kevin Dillon makes for a good sheriff, Donna D’Errico is a turn on as one of Chiso’s gals, and Flannery looks the part of a sleazy strip club manager.
The problem is the film never gets to where it wants to go, the couple’s act is unconvincing, and it’s so clunky in its execution you might get car sick when it hits the road. I think if you need a Thelma and Louise fix you would be better off watching the original, even if again.
REVIEWED ON 9/24/2022 GRADE: C+