Picks and Pans Review: Four Rooms
There are indeed four rooms in this hotel-from-hell comedy, which gives the chambers four-to-one edge on the jokes. It is a clue to the smarmy level of the humor that the funny moment has to do with one man chopping off another's pinky (an homage to the classic Steve McQueen-Peter Loire Alfred Hitchcock Presents episode). But, then, other putative knee-slappers include a grown man slapping a boy in the face, the boy's sister kicking the boy in the face, that same little girl winking seductively at another grown man and topless young women muttering insipid poems.
In other words, in spite of (or maybe because of) the fact that the four segments of Four Rooms were written and directed by four overpraised cult directors—Allison Anders, Alexandre Rockwell, Robert Rodriguez and Tarantino—this whole mess is witless, tasteless and listless. Add into the mix Roth, a bellhop all jitters and head-tilting in what seems a pathetic imitation of Stan Laurel, and you have sort of a twitchy, unwatchable California Suite. (R)