Get SF Weekly Newsletters
Pin It

"Cheatin'": A Jealous Heart at Its Zaniest 

Wednesday, Apr 15 2015
  Oh, the places a jealous mind will go! Already good for any number of movie stories, that conceit seems especially well-suited to animator Bill Plympton's casual mastery of crazy cartoon physics. In Cheatin', even the story structure itself is warped, and what fun to feel the energy of its zigzagging current — from the static electric shock of a bumper-car meet-cute to the mad, high-voltage science of its duly amplified climax. In Plympton's deliberately digressive hand-drawn fantasia, a pucker-lipped looker and a cloddish muscleman come together and fall apart with reckless romantic abandon. Choice opera snippets dovetail with composer Nicole Renaud's accordion-intensive retro score to imply that this is timeless, or at least archetypal, stuff: the tragicomic symbiosis of insecurity and infidelity. Ever a genius with visual gags, Plympton gets most of his tale across with exaggerated, pulpy sensuality and without dialogue — although we shouldn't neglect due credit to the expressive vocal talents of Sophia Takal and Jeremy Baumann. Movement is of the essence here, and it's really something to see these irrepressibly protean figures put through their emotional paces. By way of critique, one might dare Plympton to be less defensively erotic in future work, but that just affirms the thrill of racing to keep up with his inspirations.


About The Author

Jonathan Kiefer

SF Weekly movie critic Jonathan Kiefer is on Twitter: @kieferama and of course @sfweeklyfilm.


Comments are closed.

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed
  1. Most Popular


  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"