10 Items or Less

Opens at Varsity, Fri., Dec. 1. Rated R. 82 minutes.

The only person getting off on 10 Items or Less is director Brad Silberling, who wrote the script before heading into the hard-core Hollywood gang bang of Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events. Clocking in at a scant, interminable 82 minutes, 10 Items or Less tags along with an actor, named Actor and played by Morgan Freeman, as he slums his way through a working-class wonderland, prepping for his upcoming role. There he is instantly and improbably captivated by Scarlet (Paz Vega), the saucy Spanish checkout girl. Circumstances (aka screenplay schematics) leave him in the lurch and her in need of advice, so they clamber into a crappy hatchback and head off in the direction of Life Lessons. The film goes from oblivious to oblivion when it pulls into the perkiest car wash since Car Wash. Polishing rag in hand and ritmo latino bumping on the soundtrack, Freeman frolics in solidarity with a crew of blissed-out immigrants. Muchas gracias, kindly celebrity! Class consciousness is hardly to be expected from the dude who brought Casper to the big screen, and if nothing else, 10 Items or Less is a case study in cluelessness. NATHAN LEE

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