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Hugo Pool Reviews

A series of strenuously oddball vignettes masquerading as a movie, this Showtime production squanders a strong cast on a whole lotta wackiness that never actually adds up to much of anything. Hugo Duguay (Alyssa Milano) -- a tattooed, diabetic virgin with a thriving, LA-based pool-cleaning business -- has to handle 44 jobs in one busy day, so she enlists the aid of her estranged parents. Antsy gangster Chick Ciccolini (Richard Lewis) wants his pool filled by 6:30 p.m. despite the inconvenient fact that there's a drought, so Hugo dispatches dad Henry (Malcolm McDowell, affecting a peculiar, American tough-guy accent) -- a recovering sot who sometimes talks with a hand puppet -- to fill up a tank truck from the Colorado river. He's joined on the trip by a quirky drifter (Sean Penn) wearing a fabulous pair of electric-blue suede shoes. Mom Minerva (Cathy Moriarty), a compulsive gambler whose bookie is about to take out her debts in trade, comes along to help Hugo on her rounds. New customer Floyd (Patrick Dempsey) -- who has Lou Gehrig's Disease and wants to discuss building a therapeutic pool -- makes a chance remark about his "quirky gait" that convinces Minerva they should all end the day at the harness races so she can bet on a horse named Quirky Gait. In addition to the wheelchair-bound Floyd, whom they park in the back of Hugo's truck, the entourage expands to include movie director Mr. Galen (Robert Downey Jr., affecting an indescribable foreign accent), who's just murdered an annoying extra and nurses a not-so-secret crush on Hugo. This sadly unfunny addendum to the career of one-time underground filmmaker Robert Downey Sr. features several career-damaging performances and the most annoying soundtrack in recent memory.