How beautifully Parker Posey’s appeal has held up—this while rarely cracking a smile (at least a sincere one) or rousing herself out of her thinly veiled hate cloud. In the context of dozens of indies, Posey’s attitude was welcome: a lifeboat through an ocean of earnestness. Similarly, in the thin but well-performed Price Check, she gets a proper villain’s buildup, whispered about by timid employees of the corporate office of a failing Long Island supermarket chain. Then her character, Susan, sweeps in like a banshee, ferociously upbeat, bent on maximizing profits, exploiting pushover subordinates and basically getting her way.
We’re supposed to care about Pete (Eric Mabius), a comfortably married underling who gets swept up in Susan’s bitchy intrigue (right around the time she shimmies around his kid’s Halloween party as a sexy Pocahontas). But as with The Last Seduction and other superior femme-fatale no-budgeters, the everydude is forgettable. Susan has some dark ideas in mind, too cruel to share here, especially given the scant plot development in store. Ultimately, points may be scored on the balance sheet of workplace exploitation—usually we see it go the other way around, gender-wise—but these conference-room banalities have been better explored elsewhere, and the effort here feels like a rough draft.
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