Joe’s Apartment - *

Adapted from an MTV short film, Joe’s Apartment is actually cute in some spots, but can’t carry an entire film. Jerry O’Connell is Joe, a newcomer to New York, fresh out of Iowa. He lucks into finding the only available rent-controlled apartment in the city… thinking it is tenantless. He quickly finds out that is not the case…he is sharing the apartment with a few thousand roaches. These are not your ordinary run-of-the-mill roaches, they talk, sing and dance (in some initially amusing, but repitious numbers such as “Garbage in the Morning”, “Sewer Surfing”, and “Funky Towel”). The roaches initially hide from Joe, but as soon as they realize he is one of the messiest human beings on the planet, they accept him as one of their own. Soon the roaches are in full song, giving Joe unwanted advice on everything from employment to romance. The roaches are fun to watch when you see them, their musical numbers are almost cute. Unfortunately, half of the time they remain hidden, moving objects in puppetlike fashion when they speak. This probably was to save money, but the results are laughably bad. The humor content of Joe’s Apartment starts out low, then drops. The targets of this humor are very simple and obvious (the crime, decay and filth of the city). In fact, much of the plot is simpleminded and obvious. It doesn’t get much more complex than: gardens good…prisons bad. The main source of humor is filth, not surprising, considering the tenants of Joe’s Apartment…but the film wallows in its filth, and your squeamish level has to be pretty low not to be overly disgusted by it. There are a couple of good moments in Joe’s Apartment, just about enough to fill the short film from which it originated.

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