Choke


Directed by: Clark Gregg
Written by:Clark Gregg
Starring: Sam Rockwell, Anjelica Huston, Kelly Macdonald, Clark Gregg, Heather Burns, Joel Grey
Released: October 30, 2008
Grade: C

If you look at the poster for Choke, it has the following written in large font – “from the author of Fight Club”.  Let me say that this is a marketing gimmick to try to get you to see this film.  The only similarity between the two movies is that author Chuck Palahniuk’s name appears in the credits.  They have been made by different people and there is no plot or message overlap whatsoever.

Choke centres on a middle-aged guy named Victor Mancini (Rockwell) who has an addiction to sex.   He goes to a self-help group but Victor isn’t making a lot of progress.  He doesn’t seem too keen and he’s made no effort to get started on the “fourth step” in his road to recovery.

Victor lives a peculiar life.  He scams money off people by pretending to choke on food in restaurants.  He works at a colonial theme park where is boss requires him to continually dress and speak like a low-class Irish servant.  He visits his sick mother (Huston) in an aged care home and pretends to be someone else to get her to open up about his father’s identity.

I was never really sure where this film was going.  I often like these quirky, off-beat comedies but this one was too strange for me.  There wasn’t a lot to laugh about and a many scenes felt repetitive.  The dialogue was also very stiff – as if the characters were reading it straight out of a book.  No one in the film is very likeable either.

The film is rated R in Australia for it sex scenes and sexual references.  I see it having very little appeal and my unenthusiastic review won’t help its chances either.