Directed by Clark Gregg
A sex addict deals with neuroses and mommy issues.
Choke is just what you’d expect from an adaptation of a Chuck Palahniuk novel, said Owen Gleiberman in Entertainment Weekly. The film is a “dirty-minded satirical-psychotic comedy of sex obsession.” Sam Rockwell plays a lying, loathsome 20-something who blames all his bad habits—sex addiction, a dead-end job at a Colonial theme park, and cons disguised as choking fits—on his mother (Anjelica Huston). Actor-turned-director Clark Gregg turns the book’s absurdities into a fairly “amusing neurotic playground.” Choke has a kind of “filthy charm,” but you can tell it’s Gregg’s first feature film, said Robert Abele in the Los Angeles Times. The “sketch-like nature of the rude humor” combined with the grainy 16 mm film stock give it the “feel of an extended short.” The humor mostly works, but the film never goes for the jugular, said S. James Snyder in The New York Sun. Rather than explore the dirty depths of human behavior, Choke “settles for quick and easy punch lines.” Rockwell’s at-first disturbing character turns out to be a bit too likable, which makes for a “far less interesting” film.
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