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Wednesday, September 21, 1994

MOVIE REVIEW

'Pig Farmer' Larded With Contrivances

By: KEVIN THOMAS
TIMES STAFF WRITER

"Leon the Pig Farmer" is a conventional, minor British comedy of limited interest that could just as easily have been set in America with virtually no changes.

Mark Frankel is the film's appealing star, a young London Jewish realtor who finally walks out on his rapacious firm only to wind up working for his mother's catering business. It's a familiar story of being pressured to get married, of having a fling with a free-spirited shiksa (Maryam D'Abo) but of finally accepting himself, as the nice but dreamy Jewish girl (Gina Bellman) who thought she wanted a more exciting guy accepts him.

But feature debuting co-producer-directors Vadim Jean and Gary Sinyor (Sinyor wrote the script with Michael Normand) throw a monkey wrench in the love-hate view of a Jewish enclave where everybody knows everybody else's business. This occurs when Frankel's Leon Geller discovers he was sired by a sperm bank donor who turns out to be a well-off Gentile Yorkshire pig farmer (Brian Glover), a larger-than-life type with an eccentric and complicated extended family who embrace Leon warmly.

At this point the filmmakers resort to a silly gimmick that is supposed to spin a moral and tie everything up but that instead bulldozes a comedy already strained and overly familiar.

* MPAA rating: Unrated. Times guidelines: It includes some mild sensuality and language. 'Leon the Pig Farmer'

Mark Frankel: Leon Geller

Janet Suzman: Judith Geller

Brian Glover: Brian Chadwick

Connie Booth: Yvonne Chadwick

David De Keyser: Sidney Geller

Maryam D'Abo: Madeleine

Gina Bellman: Lisa

A Cinevista and Unapix presentation. Co-producers and directors Vadim Jean and Gary Sinyor. Executive producer Paul Brooks. Screenplay by Sinyor, Michael Normand. Cinematographer Gordon Hickie. Editor Ewa J. Lind. Music John Murphy, David Hughes. Production designer Simon Hicks. Running time: 1 hour, 42 minutes.


 Copyright (c) 1996 Times Mirror Company

Leon the Pig Farmer


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