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‘Lazy Susan’ Review: She Just Keeps Spinning in Place | Press "Enter" to skip to content

‘Lazy Susan’ Review: She Just Keeps Spinning in Place

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The title of this movie isn’t kidding. To answer your first question, “How lazy is this Susan?” here’s how lazy: While slumped on her sofa, she squeezes ketchup packets into her navel, creating a receptacle in which to dip her takeout French fries.

Extreme sloth is not the only distinctive characteristic of this aimless middle-aged Susan. There’s also the fact that she’s played by a man, Sean Hayes, who’s best known for his work on the TV comedy “Will and Grace.” Hayes wrote the screenplay with his co-star, Carrie Aizley, and Nick Peet directed. Just as the drag performer Divine made a point of playing Edna Turnblad as a “real” woman in John Waters’s 1988 “Hairspray” (a challenge John Travolta took on in the 2007 musical remake), here Hayes attempts embodiment rather than imitation.

Technically, his work here is better than serviceable. But to what end? The character is a caricature of a suburban type, with a fractured clan that makes a big show of hewing to homespun Christian values (Susan’s niece recites a Bible verse before giving a birthday present to Grandma) and sitcom-cartoonish aspirations. For instance, Susan and her best friend, Corrin (played by Aizley), think their rendition of “Blister in the Sun,” with Susan on flute, is going to blow everyone away at the local talent show.

The proceedings, which also include Susan falling hard for a smarmy “Jumpoline” proprietor played by Jim Rash, are professionally executed. Yet the movie’s pace seems glacial. It’s as if the filmmakers tossed a bunch of fish into a barrel and didn’t bother to shoot them.

At one point Susan says to a neighbor, “You have polio and diabetes? God can be such a hater sometimes.” Yes, and on occasion to movie reviewers especially.

Lazy Susan

Not rated. Running time: 1 hour 30 minutes. Rent or buy on AmazonGoogle PlayVudu and other streaming platforms and pay TV operators.


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