Joe's Apartment (1996)

The year's best tag-line, "sex bugs rock 'n' roll," is actually a 
bit of misnomer.  There's precious little skin and only a mild rock 
sensibility to this feature-film expansion of the MTV short.  John 
Payson, who created the original, writes and directs this absurdly 
amusing comedy about a young man from Iowa (Jerry O'Connell) and 
his adventures living with thousands of talking (and singing, and 
dancing) cockroaches in a run-down, rent-controlled apartment in 
New York City.  Animated by stop-motion and CGI effects, the bug 
sequences (roach clips?) are delightful.  The insects squeal like 
Joe Pesci on helium as they bicker, banter, and break into song.  
(My favorite: a Busby Berkeley number set inside a toilet bowl.)  
The plot, involving a romantic interest and some serious landlord 
woes, is awfully thin and makes the 80-minute (or so) running time 
seem longer than it really is.  JOE'S APARTMENT works best as a 
mild comedy about life in the Big Apple.  How will gags about 911 
operators, street violence, and pooper scoopers play in Peoria?  
Only the grosses will tell.  With appearances by David Huddleston, 
Don Ho, and Robert Vaughn, who has aged into a fine Strother Martin 
look-alike.  (Rated "PG-13/~80 min.)

Grade: C+

Copyright 1996 by Michael J. Legeros

Originally posted to triangle.movies in MOVIE HELL: July 28, 1996

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