“Angels on Tap” is an ill-conceived comic-fantasy filled with strained and creaky humor, cardboard characters, an inane framing device and, as directed by Trudy Sargent, zero cinematic style.
Veteran TV writer Burt Prelutsky scripted this dud about “Hollywood Schlockmeister” Sammy Bachman (Corey Allen Kotler) — a hoary throwback of crass, cigar-chomping, malapropping Jewishness — who bests Harvey Weinstein (this was shot in 2015) for the rights to a bestseller called “Angels on Tap,” the story of which Sammy relates in a chat with a slick entertainment reporter (Kyle Walters).
The action then flips to Gabriel’s, a humble tavern where angels (wearing giant wings, in white or more “slenderizing” black — ha-ha) relax between their duties overseeing such areas of responsibility as food, show biz, politics, romance and travel. Who knew?
In stumbles a journalist meta-named Prelutsky (a dull Howard Osias), the eventual author of “Angels on Tap,” who interviews these attitudinal, age-old angels (Ed Asner, Alan Rachins, Jamie Farr and others) about their work, humanity, world history, inventions (from the wheel to lunch) and famous figures (from Isaac Newton to Esther Williams). It all plays like a second-rate take on Mel Brooks’ and Carl Reiner’s “The 2000 Year Old Man.”
The unifying thread from these flatly shot sit-downs, aside from lame punchlines and dated references, is a dreary longing for “the good old days” (oh, that rap music!). Viewers, however, will likely just pine for a better comedy.
‘Angels on Tap’
Running time: 1 hour, 14 minutes.
Playing: Arena Cinelounge Sunset, Hollywood