Further evidence that Henry Jaglom’s filmmaking career is on its last gasp, Irene in Time is an all too prosaic story about Irene (Tanna Frederick), an emotional basket case attempting to resolve burning questions about her abandoning father so that she might be able to sustain a romantic relationship of her own. With her arsenal of self-help books on dating, Irene talks to friends and family about her missing dad — he was often AWOL when she was a child, then died in an accident — as if she were a starving woman begging for a scrap of food.
Needless to say, she carries the same toxic sense of desperation into her unsatisfying dating life. A studio session singer by day, Irene might as well have “L” for loser tattooed on her forehead when it comes to the rituals of mating. An artificial plot revelation involving a sensitive Jazz singer played by Andrea Marcovicci adds a forced sense of the dramatic depth that Jaglom fails miserably to achieve.
Jaglom’s films have always exhibited a slavish adoration of women regardless of their emotional and mental stability. But there is such a thing as trying too hard, and the threadbare Irene in Time is an example of that. Grade: C-
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