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By Phil Hall | April 6, 2006

Benjamin Morgan’s “Quality of Life” is a dismal, connect-the-dots, no-budget indie about two 20-year-old San Francisco dum-dums who work as house painters by day and bomb the city at night with their graffiti tags. After they are arrested following an evening’s vandalism, they are fed rather quickly through the judicial system and wind up with a brief jail stint plus fines and community service. Needless to say, the brush with the law leaves these paint pirates with a dilemma: do they continue vandalizing San Francisco with their spray cans or do they (to quote Nat “King” Cole) straighten up and fly right? One dum-dum decides to go the law-abiding route while the other can’t get the graffiti out of his system.

“Quality of Life” is as bland as its title. Morgan, a former social worker turned auteur, has no idea how to coax performances out of his timid actors or how to craft dialogue that sounds like genuine conversations (Brian Burnam, a non-professional who plays one of the taggers, is a former graffiti vandal who co-wrote the script).

With a clumsy hip-hop score permeating every free inch of the soundtrack and ugly 16mm cinematography that would never be allowed out of Film School 101, the audio-visual experience is a wreck. The quality of “Quality of Life” is non-existent.

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