Men Behaving Badly – But Not As Funny
The Players is an anthological collection of men behaving badly. Unlike the sitcom of the same name however, The Players is not funny. Nor is it particularly dramatic or well written. Instead it serves as a stitched together collection of ideas that feels like someone found a bunch of unfinished screenplays and threw them together into one movie.
There’s 6 different shorts available and the picture wastes little time getting right to the crux of the drama. The first short begins with a suspicious wife interrogating her husband all the way through the airport as they board a plane to the Maldives. Once seated, she looks at his phone and screams. That’s it. That’s the plot for our first short before we move onto the next film.
The problem with this format is that it grows tiresome quickly and with most of the stories following this same trend of a suspicious female catching their male partner in the act, attempting to inject just enough comedy to make things lighthearted, it all feels so archetypal and tired.
This extends across to the visuals too, with little in the way of interesting compositional techniques or camera movements to keep your interest. Instead, most of the picture feels static and the various characters we meet along the way can’t help save this one.
The dialogue is just as clumsy, with many of the men portrayed as bumbling, fumbling cheaters either looking for a quick lay or unable to lie their way through what they’ve been up to. The result is something that instantly makes it difficult to warm to any of these characters and makes for a much more passive watch than it perhaps should be.
To be fair though, some of the later shorts aren’t as generic and forgettable as the plane incident but none ever move above that realm of mediocrity. Instead, The Players serves as a forgettable collection of shorts that’s unlikely to be remembered for very long.