If the sight gag is dead, this excruciatingly precious Belgian comedy is less a resurrection than an autopsy. Made by a troupe of actors with a background in pantomime and circus performance, it sounds delightful on paper: a largely wordless, absurdist farce about a fast-food manager (Fiona Gordon) who sets sail for a chilly adventure with a mute sea captain after she gets locked overnight in a freezer—and her robotic family doesn't notice she's gone. The performers (especially Dominique Abel, who has a face like pulled taffy, as the husband) have the right pipe-cleaner look for physical comedy; the gag setups, from a scarf caught in the freezer door to fun with goofy back-projection screens, would have Buster Keaton doing a saber dance on banana peels. But there's nothing eruptive or disruptive about the slapstick: Every color-drenched neat-freak shot is as fussily framed as a New Yorker cartoon—Tati by way of Wes Anderson—and the result packs all the hilarity of a museum installation on "The Semiotics of Silent Comedy." You'll be in stitches if your definition of boffo buffoonery is Mummenschanz.
Gordon frolics with Philippe Martz in LIceberg.
Runs at Northwest Film Forum, Fri., July 13–Thurs., July 19. Not rated. 84 minutes.