Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

Now if we were still under the Queenís rule, I would certainly be referring to this fine American gentleman as Sir Morgan Freeman, as opposed to simply Morgan Freeman.  As I am quick to let anyone know, he may be one the greatest American actors of this or any other generation, but he also helped teach me, and millions of other kids how to read back in the seventies as Easy Reader on The Electric Company.  A job he hated by the way, but we adolescents didnít know or care.  We just loved us some Easy Reader.  Surely, teaching kids how to read and winning Academy Awards is worth knighthood I would think.  Screw it, Iím knighting the dude.  As an unofficial representative of the Queen, and the colony of the Americaís, I, Christopher Armstead, now present one Morgan Freeman with the title of Knight of the sub colony of Memphis.  GOD SAVE THE QUEEN!

Anyway, this brings us to Brad Siberlings í10 items or lessí, a little picture which puts the ĎIí into Independent and turns out to be a nice breezy lightweight little character study with two solid leads and plenty of heart.

Freeman plays an unnamed actor who is certainly on the back side of his career and hasnít worked in four years.  He has received an offer from a microscopic film company to play a manager of a supermarket, but he feels he needs to Ďresearchí the part first.  This leads him to a little local market in East L.A. and checkout clerk Scarlet (Paz Vega) who simply fascinates the man in her aptitude as a clerk and the personality in which she handles customers in her 10 items or less checkout lane.  Despite the obnoxiousness, and cluelessness of the actor in the everyday lives of regular folks, he obviously has a good heart and Scarlet takes a liking to the old dude.  So when itís closing time and the actors ride hasnít arrived yet, and he canít contact his agent for ride because itís a Jewish holiday and

since he also canít remember his ever changing phone number, Scarlet lets him hang with her for the day while she gets ready for a job interview.

And that, my friends is pretty much it.  We simply follow these two charismatic people around for 75 minutes while one battles her insecurities and the other is simply amazed at the world outside his gated Brentwood estate.  When our heroes enter a Target superstore, it is quite amusing watching the actor wonder aloud how they can stay in business with the ridiculously low prices they charge.  The actor also places everything in the parable of acting, calling a job interview an Ďauditioní and telling her that she needs to go to Ďwardrobeí to spruce up her clothes.

The two lead actors are outstanding, and they would have to be in a movie like this to work, since there is no plot, very little structure, and next to nothing going on underneath.  Paz Vega is very good as the insecure Spanish clerk who only wants to upgrade to office assistant, but needs constant prodding to believe that that is even possible.  You would think a woman as hot as Paz Vega is, and she is SMOKINí, wouldnít have any insecurity issues, but damn if I havenít personally witnessed it a thousand times how numerous smart, intelligent, beautiful women manage to saddle themselves with insecurities that for the most part donít even exist.  The fact that I have a wife is proof positive of that my friends.  The woman could have done MUCH better, but alas her insecurities about things that donít exist saddled her sexy ass with me.  Yay Insecurities!

í10 items or lessí could probably best described as watching a master painter paint, for the sole purpose of watching a master at his craft, but not really caring about his finished canvas.  Basically, thatís what this exercise was.  Observing two fine actors communicate in a framework that in honesty adds up to almost nothing as far as a movie goes, but simply watching them travel their little aimless journey was entertainment enough for me.  Ď10 items or lessí isnít a movie for everyone, but for fans of Sir Morgan Freeman, I donít think you can go wrong with it.

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