Wednesday, September 21, 1994
'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