Film Threat archive logo


By Rory L. Aronsky | November 13, 2003

“Sparky” is a one-man piece about Sparky Peterson (Adam Bertocci), who is sort of like me in a way, except I wouldn’t be caught dead dancing like that. He’s quite lazy, and through voice-over narration, takes it upon himself to discuss the 30-second Listerine challenge that’s so overused on those commercials (but which has since been changed to a new campaign). He, of course has trouble with it, wondering whether the Listerine company knows what they do to people with that.
That’s not the only problem Sparky faces, however. The power goes out and he’s forced to (OH MY GOD!!!) entertain himself. Oh, the humanity! Luckily, it’s still light out, so he doesn’t have too much trouble with that. Phone’s working fine and a call to a girl to come see him goes nowhere and he spends time there, pondering what could have happened to her that prevented her from calling him back. The funniest and nearly the most horrific part about this piece is when Sparky decides to spend time dancing. This makes Elaine Benes on “Seinfeld” look like a performance artist.
Adam Bertocci, as Sparky, successfully shows the life of one slacker and proves that yes, slacker lifestyle can differ from person to person. There’s your bunch of slackers from Richard Linklater’s “Slacker” with Madonna’s supposed pap smear, and there’s Randal from Clerks, who seems happy with his own lifestyle, but wish that Dante would lighten the f**k up because life isn’t such a desperate situation as he makes it out to be. As for Sparky, you’ll find no grandiose statements about life from him and that’s ok. In a way, Bertocci as Sparky, seems like a younger Woody Allen in a way. Now I don’t mean this, script-wise, but just by the quickness and kind of stutter in the voice. As for his script, Bertocci is like a monologist who’s just starting out, confident of the words that he’s chosen to introduce to the audience either himself or a character that he’s created. It’s basically a way to mug in front of the camera and say a few things that might have cropped up in the mind over the course of some time. I mean, who wouldn’t really wonder about the Listerine challenge and how ridiculous that can be when the damn thing is intense? However, “Sparky” shouldn’t become a new persona for Bertocci to embrace and try to make more films out of. 5 minutes of Sparky is more than enough here. Perhaps, while on this one-man kick, Bertocci should try to create new characters as well. Sure there’s Eric Bogosian becoming one of many characters or Spalding Gray sitting at a table in a film either by Steven Soderbergh or Nick Broomfield or Jonathan Demme, discussing what’s happened to him, but there’s always room for many more monologists, so long as there’s a clear path as to what the character is and what they should be by performance’s end.

Disagree with this review? Think you can write a better one? Go right ahead in Film Threat’s BACK TALK section! Click here>>>

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Join our Film Threat Newsletter

Newsletter Icon