Vernon and Juliet
The Distinct Smell of Red
Review by Ross Anthony

Nicely filmed, scripted, directed, well-lit, and well-framed.

Vernon helps Katherine at a floral shop. He's lonely, quick to make up stories, and creepy with an awkward frankness that sometimes endears viewers. The relationship between Katherine and Vernon is never made clear. For the first half of the film, I assumed they were either siblings, or Katherine hired him as a favor to a friend.

Anyway, the picture is about lonely Vernon's desperate search for his special Juliet and how Katherine reacts to his stories regarding that pursuit - some true/ some bs. Vernon toggles between creepy and endearing ... a difficult role to play (without losing audience sympathy) - hence a stronger lead could have benefited the production. Also, Vernon is on screen every running moment; time away from him could have been spent learning about the other characters.

Still, the story flows quite well from beginning to end save for a few wrinkles in the third act. The first is Katherine's reaction to Vernon's poem; it's inconsistent, abrupt and out of sync with her character - moreover, difficult to believe. The second is the anti-climatic ending. Though written as an internal resolution (as opposed to demonstrative drama), it's punch will only be felt by those acutely empathizing with Vernon.

Here are some of the wonderful lines that populate the strong dialogue:
Vernon prods Katherine to let him tell her about her date, cynically she responds: "My imagination is as good as yours - you don't have to tell me."

The most lovable part of Vernon is his ability to come up with juicy obtuse sentences at the oddest times, "I hate sleeping." Or "Little kids flock to me."

Those who liked "Chuck and Buck" may likewise enjoy this film. Though neither film thrilled me, both show obvious writer/director/production talent.

  • The Distinct Smell of Red. Copyright © 2001.
  • Starring Guilford Adams, Robin Christian-McNair, Edi Patterson.
  • Directed by Jason Kittleberger.
  • Written by Jason Kittelberger, Donna Strader.
  • Produced by Donna Strader at Malamute Ent.

Copyright © 2001. Ross Anthony, currently based in Los Angeles, has scripted and shot documentaries, music videos, and shorts in 35 countries across North America, Europe, Africa and Asia. For more reviews visit:

chili4 special olympians
power5 ra hforh radiop

Last Modified: Saturday, 16-Sep-2006 08:13:19 PDT