Man oh man, it was pretty exciting to learn that this film “Serial Intentions” actually includes footage shot at the Palace “Entertainment Complex” on Rte. 99 in Malden, Massachusetts. I can tell you firsthand that the Palace is a major hangout for young, suburban sluggos and their equally classy women. Personally, my preference falls towards the Townline Bowling Alley, which is just down the street from the Palace. It’s another joint that radiates pure “class,” as only a bowling alley can. But, ah, I digress…
“Serial Intentions” is an indie crime flick, and as you may have gathered, was shot in the suburbs of Boston. I knew this even before I looked at the credits, because the majority of the actors had actual Boston accents. Not the kind you hear in all those Hollywood movies that never quite get it right. I’ve heard them my whole life, and take it from me—they are uniquely annoying. Especially when it’s a cop who’s pulled you over for some infraction. Not that that’s happened to me, much.
Worse than the accents here, though, is the acting. You know that when Erin Gray, (“Buck Rogers in the 25th Century”) in a tiny cameo, outshines everyone else by a considerable margin, you’ve got some major problems. And our main stars, super cops Mark Grant and Christy Scott-Cashman, have some especially wooden moments between them.
When they are called in by the state to investigate a series of homicides, it really puts a crimp in the style of the local yokel fuzz, who are used to handling things in their own crooked way. This becomes apparent when the locals come up with “no evidence” at the scene of any of these murders, and Grant is immediately suspicious! This leads to a lot of silly huffiness on the part of the actors playing the local cops, but with the stiff dialog they are forced to speak, you can’t really lay much of the blame on them.
I did like the “Sonny & Cher” style relationship between Grant and Cashman, though, meaning that she towered over her humorless leading man the same way ol’ super honker Cher did in the ‘70s. They have an awkward, stilted chemistry that—praise the Lord—never blooms into a full-fledged romance. My favorite unintentionally amusing scene was when Grant doesn’t want to dance with her because she makes him look shrimpy. Cashman says, “I’ll take off my shoes!” She does, and she still looms above him as they are cuttin’ the rug on the dance floor. They could’ve worked a whole lot of Sonny/Cher humor into this relationship, which includes this obvious visual mismatch that permeates the story. That would’ve given this movie a little more breadth than just being another low-grade cop drama. In all fairness to Cashman, it’s obvious she has the potential to progress beyond this level as a film actress.
With credibility gaps you could drive a police cruiser through, and no real build-up to a very pedestrian feeling ending, “Serial Intentions” is just like an overly long, very bad cop show.