Bil’s rating (out of 5): B.5.
Original title: Steekspel
Netherlands, 2012. FCCE. Screenplay by Robert Alberdingk Thijm, Kim van Kooten, Paul Verhoeven. Cinematography by Lennert Hillege, Richard van Oosterhout. Produced by Rene Mioch, Justus Verkerk. Music by Fons Merkies. Production Design by Roland de Groot. Costume Design by Yan Tax. Film Editing by Job ter Burg.
Paul Verhoeven, always on the lookout for a new challenge, held a contest to complete the screenplay for this comedy of sex and relationships. Starting with a four-page scenario by writer Kim van Kooten, Verhoeven invited participants from all over The Netherlands to complete the initial scenario with their own invention; disappointed with the results of thousands of subpar entries, Verhoeven cobbled together situations from various contestants and came up with a short piece of garbage that even at sixty minutes in length is still the sort of thing you can barely force yourself to watch on an airplane. A married couple celebrate the birthday of the wealthy industrialist husband when his former mistress shows up at the door pregnant and ready to drop. This creates an issue not only for his wife but also for his daughter’s best friend, with whom he is also having an affair, and for his son, who is in love with the young lady that his father is meeting up with in hotel rooms. Despite a fun final twist and some well directed scenes of mayhem, there’s nothing beneath the surface of the kind of plotting you find on bad soap opera. It’s almost impossible to believe that Verhoeven is responsible for such pointlessness: even a clunker like Starship Troopers had a sense of movement and style.