Michael Bergeron
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“C Street” Fires on All Cylinders

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Political satire makes for ripe viewing especially when the script fires on all cylinders. C Street makes a frothy valiant attempt to be such a polemic before running into the foul zone.

Leon casino, Washington D.C. names many of its East and West bound streets after letters of the alphabet. C Street is right down the road from the Federal Triangle. An incumbent senator Fallon (Dylan Walsh) uses the apartment of one of his interns (Evan Hall as Guy Poppet) to conduct illicit affairs, mainly with another campaign volunteer (Shaun Licata). Shades of the 1960 Best Picture Winner The Apartment.

Poppet also parlays his pad into a clandestine meeting place for drug dealers and other capital deviates resulting in a full ring circus of mischief in a one-bedroom abode. The revolving doors policy makes Poppet’s pad a hotbed of sexual activity and a bad place to try to get a night’s sleep.

Walsh has the best-known resume. Although he mainly appears in recent television project Walsh was the go-to supporting actor in the mid-1990s with films like Congo and Nobody’s Fool. Carey Lowell, a one-time Bond girl (License to Kill) plays the Senator’s wife in a brief cameo. Performances by Licata and Hall are the real centerpiece for C Street.cst

What starts out as a promising skewering of political values quickly devolves into a mindless farce that substitutes buffoonery for sophistication. For instance, Poppet finds the cops at his door in the middle of the night and they try to help him with a huge zip lock bag of cocaine that he claims is flour. When the bag breaks and everyone is covered in white powder, nobody acts like it’s any big deal. There’s a certain reality one wishes a movie satire to maintain and that scene sort of crosses the line and opens the way for the rest of C Street’s unlikely narrative. The whole one-room storyline would work better as a play where viewers are more willing to suspend their belief.

C Street currently unwinds as a Video on Demand option from various VOD providers.