N-Secure

N-Secure

Film review by: Witney Seibold

 

David Allen Washington (Cordell Moore) is the world’s worst boyfriend. Crippled by OCD, he plans his daily activities to the minute, making sure his morning tooth-brushing takes exactly three minutes, his commute is the same every day, and that his lunchtime snack is always planned on time. He carefully rearranges his pictures and vases to be just so. When his fiancee Robin (Essence Atkins) comes home at 6:32, he grills her on why she was two minutes late. He is overbearing and demanding. He is wildly jealous, and suspects that his woman is having an affair with every an she talks to. He browbeats and makes demands. He uses his wealth as a fulcrum for emotional manipulation, threatening to take it away from his fiancee at every opportunity.

 

David is the main character of David M. Matthew‘s limp soap opera “N-Secure,” one of those curious, bad, strange low-budget affairs that managed to sneak its way into a few theaters in October of last year. It’s finally on home video, and I managed to see it in all its glory. It’s a hothouse of anger and infidelity, and comparisons to Tommy Wiseau’s infamous cult flick “The Room” are standing at the ready. What we have is a blaxploitation PG-13-rated soap (despite its R rating) with some clunky acting, weird plotting, a music-saturated Memphis setting that threatens to bring some personality to the proceedings (you’d think that there’d be more blues and jazz in a Memphis-set movie, but never mind), but never quite succeeds, and and only one (1) scene of pure magical bizarrity. More on that in a second.

 

David lives with his fiancee Robin in a McMansion that is a strange combination of Home-Depot-purchased formica flimsiness and The House of Usher. The kitchen looks like a plywood sitcom set, but the front door looks like the ancient oaken portal to another dimension. The house gave me a pleasant feeling of cognitive dissonance. Robin has confessed to her friend Jill (played by Tempestt Bledsoe) that she isn’t in love with David anymore, and that she can’t stand his horrible, horrible manipulation. She would leave, but she’s too allured by David’s money. She, instead, the day before her wedding, tries to seduce Jill’s hunky fiancee Isaac (Lamman Rucker) in a drunken fit of pique. They don’t have sex, but they neck with their shirts off. They are caught by Jill and David and they are both dumped. Robin moves into a tiny apartment, and David quickly begins wooing the lithe Tina (Denise Boutte), the cousin of his spunky and long-suffering secretary (Toni Trucks).

 

Sorry. Did I speed past a lot of events? I guess I did. The film, though is so bad about establishing the passage of time that it’s kind of jarring when they mention it in dialogue. “It’s been three weeks” someone will sadly intone, and you only then realize that it hasn’t been a few days. Later in the film, it’s established that David and Tina have been dating for a year, when it could have easily been a few weeks. After a while, you begin wondering how long you’ve been watching “N-Secure.” Has it been an hour, or have I been here for days?

 

Anyway Tina begins to see David’s true colors of manipulation and crippling OCD after a few months. It unclear why she doesn’t leave him, though. Robin seemed weak-willed and said that she was find of his money. Tina seems a bit more resolute and well-to-do. I guess she stays with David just to see how crazy he’ll get. Over the same three months, Robin learns that she is pregnant with David’s baby, and there’s a long struggle to prove the paternity. This question of paternity is, thankfully, not played for broad laughs.

 

Oh yes, and there’s the other subplot of David murdering Isaac. Wait. What? Yes indeed. David cuts the breaks to Isaac’s car while Isaac was playing at a blues club. Isaac dies in the accident. It’s established earlier in the film (in a scene constructed only to establish this, and offer nothing else to the film) that David is an ex-Marine, and loves the violent mindset of the military life. I guess his bloodthirst and his jealousy and insecurity – or rather n-security – drove him to murder, but it feels like it came out of left field. Murder as plot point. As establishment of character.

 

Yes, Jill has the baby. The baby’s name is not given. They only call it Pumpkin.

 

Eventually David does get his comeuppance, but not after several weirdly edited scenes in doctors’ offices, parks, and that creepy two-worlds McMansion. The girls re-unite, and Sister Sledge’s “We Are Family” plays over the credits as perhaps one of the most inappropriate song choice for closing credits in any film.

 

Oh yes, about that magical bizarre scene. David has a lecherous best friend named Harold (Thomas Miles) who is, I suppose, included as comic relief. Every time this fellow comes by the office, he makes some lecherous comment, steals a cigar, shows off his flashy suits, and is gone into the ether, like the ghost of Steve Harvey. One afternoon, David stops him on his way out, looks him dead in the eye, and says, with all stone-faced seriousness, “I’d rather a man stick his dick in my mouth than in my woman. You know what I mean?” Harold uncomfortably looks back. “…No, I don’t think I do.” He says. Then pauses. “No” he repeats. “No, no I don’t.” David is still staring. Harold: “No I don’t know what you mean.”

 

Bliss.

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Published in: on June 15, 2011 at 7:53 pm  Leave a Comment  

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