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By Merle Bertrand | January 10, 2001

Janice (Margot Avery) wants to play a dockside wench to Bill’s (Cliff Weissman) sailor. The fantasy seems to be working, too, at least until she makes an unfortunate reference to Wall Street, which sort of kills the mood for Bill. Janice, you see, has just received yet another promotion and is now making far more money than her husband; something about which Bill is highly sensitive.
Desperate to mollify her husband, Janice agrees to play one of Bill’s games. Unfortunately, he gets a little too rough and carried away in the “Caveman” game and the struggling couples’ amorous intentions derail yet again…which is exactly where Lisa Beth Kovetz’ frustrating film ends.
“Janice & Bill” is a good looking short with a perfectly believable and utterly capable pair of actors. The good news is, I wanted to see more; find out how these two were going to work things out. The bad news is, we never get that chance. This plays like an excellent opening to, if maybe not a feature, at least a longer short. Then it just sort of…stops; cut-off just as it was starting to get interesting. It’s rare for viewers to empathize with two characters as easily as we’re able to do with these poor souls. Which makes it all the more unfortunate that “Janice & Bill” is ultimately as dissatisfying as its lead characters’ sex life.

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