Busy signal

Denise Calls Up babbles away, then hangs up on you

Denise Calls Up, on the other hand, strikes the same note of irony so often your ears begin to ring. The film never rises above the novelty of its execution. Hal Salwen has located a troublesome malady of our millennial age, but he lacks the technical and imaginative vocabulary to raise his comic material to its logical, tragic conclusion. Just as the six principal players in the film exist for each other as a series of electronically filtered impressions, so too does Denise Calls Up glance off your brain and leave barely a dent in its aftermath. In his scattershot comic observations, Salwen pursues the profound but bags the merely pleasant.

Denise Calls Up. Sony Pictures Classics. Tim Daly, Caroleen Feeney, Liv Schreiber. Written and directed by Hal Salwen. Opens June 7.

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