“Berta”, a part comedy, part serious meditation on sexual roles in our day and age, is not quite smart enough to make a serious impact. You can sense the filmmakers trying to make a point, but you’re not quite sure what that point may be. Be happy with your own sexual equipment? Be careful what you wish for, cause you might get it? Don’t stop the presses.
Berta (Wolfmann) is the title character, a hip but non-vegan lesbian who is deeply involved with the blonde and alluring Diane (Luckerath). Berta has a dream that her equipment has grown out and up, giving her and Diane the best sex they have ever had in their lives. She tries to discuss it with her girlfriend, but she doesn’t want to hear it; as long as Berta makes with the magic hands, she’s happy.
Her friend and co-worker Tony (Montesinos) is a macho Latino male, watching bad porno (we see a clip at the start called “Backyard Nasties”, a spirited little spoof that captures three girls with a hose perfectly…not that I would know anything about that) and smoking weed with his roomate Frank (Caselton). Tony thinks Berta and Diane have the best of both worlds, and tells Frank that he’d love to be a woman and have sex with other women. The stage is set for “Vice-Versa Part II: The Lesbian and the Latino”.
The boys hold a party and the girls arrive, ready to smoke some s**t and drink some shots. The more they drink and smoke, the looser their tongues get, until Berta and Tony confess that they’d like to be the other person for awhile. They shake on it, as a joke, but neither one is laughing when they both have the same dream that night. In the dream, they are screwing each other, and they hear a voice that tells them “this is the means to get what you want”. After a deep discussion, the duo decide to try it.
Surprise, suprise. Berta wakes up in Tony’s body, puzzling over the penis and missing the toilet, and Tony is admiring his new breasts in the mirror (“I believe I’m going to stand here and fondle myself all day,” she says.) They head for Diane’s, and after a brief period of being creeped out by Tony calling her “sweetheart”, she gazes into Berta’s eyes and sees Tony’s soul. Tony gets dressed to hit the town in his new body, and Diane has many, many glasses of tequila before hopping into the sack with her lover.
Do you think these two are going to have problems with the new penis? Or that even though he has the new body, girls are still going to treat him like the macho a*****e he is? Is Frank going to notice? These questions and many others round out the climax of “Berta”, and I have to tell you, I was a little disappointed by the lack of surprises. Writer/director/actor Montesinos seems to be following the playbook from the Syd Field horror entitled “Screenplays”, a how-to book that should be taken off the shelves and burned. Wonder why most movies are formulaic and seem to be cut from the same mold? Thank Field.
Too bad, because the lead actress is such a great new face. Wolfmann as the curious Berta has a great natural chemistry with the camera, and has wonderful comedic timing that goes back to the days of Lucille Ball and Carol Burnett. She has a pleasant face and eyes that a man (or woman) could fall in love with. I wasn’t impressed with the film, but I didn’t mind when she was on the screen.
The rest of the cast is adequate. Montesinos gave a professional performance but lacked sympathy later in the perfromance, when he was inhabited by a she. Luckerath looks good, and that’s that. The less said about the annoying Caselton, the better. There is, however, a spirited dance number that springs from nowhere that livens things up.
The preview DVD was not of the best quality, and I was unable to view the Special Features, which included the short films “Acid Horse” and “Duck and Frisbee”. I’m not sure whether this is good or bad.