Cast: Sasha Ramos, Erin Cline, Anthony Rutowicz
Writer and Director: Thomas L Phillips.
I have been to my fair share of parties in the past that I thought were wild. Well nothing could prepare me for the gathering that director Thomas L Phillips served with his feature “Quite a Conundrum“. This movie is a wild mix of diverse characters and genres. There are elements to this that make it feel like a comedy sitcom. There are others that make it feel more like an erotic drama, and there are even some that make it look like a thriller. Some of these elements work very well while others, not so much.
When the movie opens we meet our heroine Mimi(Sasha Ramos) in bed with her much older lover Marc(John Lucas). After being disappointed with his lack to make her orgasm. She proceeds to call him hurtful names and suggest that he should go back to his wife. We then meet Mimi’s best friend Tabitha(Erin Cline) and her younger sister Kylene(Emily Rogers). They are preparing a pool party while their parents are away. Hearing about Mimi’s frustration with Marc. Tabitha has her boyfriend Sean(Chris Greene) invite his friend Dutch(Joe Coffey) over to help out with her friend’s lack of faith in men. Kylene invites her religiously oppressed boyfriend Harris(Anthony Rutowicz) over and the party starts to get going. Everyone is having a good time when all of a sudden Marc shows up naked with a gun. At first you would think he was there to kill Mimi for the way she humiliated him that morning, but instead. He turns the gun on himself and pulls the trigger.
At this point I feel like a lot of you are asking “Why didn’t they just call the cops right then and there?” I will agree with you about that idea, but Mimi has some problems with that because Marc was about to become her father’s partner at his law firm, and if he found out that she was the reason for his suicide. She may be cut out in receiving any more money. While they are trying to find out what to do with the body, Marc’s wife Lola(Julianna Pitt) shows up and things become a bit more crazy as our heroines try their best to get out of this situation clean.
I liked very much that there were other things going on in this besides just the dead man in the pool scenario. Usually in these kind of movies, the cops show up because someone heard a gunshot,and then everyone has to hide the body somehow. These scenes are usually comedic or tense, but in here neither would work because I can’t imagine anyone calling the cops after hearing just one small gunshot. Instead the movie focuses on the other people at the party and some of their problems. It was refreshing to see some comedic moments like Harris trying very drunkingly to score and witness Kylene admit her true feelings for him. Every single character for the most part felt real and genuine. I may have not liked Mimi’s or Tabitha’s personality, but in no way was I not invested in their story and somehow wished they could get away with it and continue they’re care free lifestyle. I kind of wanted them to all go off somewhere and start their own TV sitcom. In fact there were several moments before the actual party that made it feel like one, just minus the canned laugh track. That is why it pains me to say that when one of the characters does a complete 180. The movie goes a bit downhill for me. Not because said character has the change. It’s because it never explains the motivation for their change. I’m all for surprises and twists in movies, but you have to give your audience at least some explanation as to why they do. It would be like having Belle from “Beauty and The Beast” all of a sudden betray The Beast and join Gaston during the raid on the castle. It wouldn’t make much sense.
Thomas L. Phillips is great with getting good performances from his actors. Wither it’s comedic or dramatic and I look forward to seeing his other works. The cast is equally impressive with some really stand out performances by Anthony Rutowicz as Harris, Erin Cline as Tabitha and in a funny but short scene Catherine Trail as Harris’ religious mother Thelma. Despite the issues I had with the third act. I found “Quite a Conundrum” to be a descent enjoyable feature. The story never dragged on too much although some of the montage scenes during the pool party could have been shortened just a bit. It was a party I would gladly visit again. I just may not stay for the whole thing.
What do you think about this movie? Please leave comments below. To learn more about the movie, visit the official website by clicking here.