The Brass Teapot
Directed by Ramaa Mosley
Starring Juno Temple, Michael Angarano, Alexis Bledel
Playing at Cinema Village
It’s no surprise that “The Brass Teapot” originated as a short story by screenwriter Tim Macy. The film has all the hallmarks of such an enterprise, including a central gimmick that doesn’t stand up to feature length.
In this case, that’s a magical teapot that spits out money when its owner is harmed or does harm to others.
Alice (Juno Temple) swipes the pot from your classic roadside antique store, and brings it home to husband John (Michael Angarano). Thus begins a long and trying process, in which the allure of more money and a glitzier lifestyle conflicts with their basic moral code.
The teapot is a clever, if somewhat nonsensical, money-dispensing device, and the movie’s allegorical portrait of characters coping with a giant inferiority complex has some dark satirical bite.
But the screenplay falters, introducing ridiculous villains and featuring thorough lapses in logic in a blur of strained drama.