Based on the Aristophanes comedy set in Athens circa 411 BC, and translated to small town Texas in the 21st century, Is That a Gun in Your Pocket? is essentially Lysistrata Lite. The women in the original withheld sex from their husbands to stop the Peloponnesian War. Here they do the same to rid their town of guns after a boy takes Dad’s cool pistol to school and accidentally shoots the crossing guard in the derriere. The film feels a lot like a TV movie, except for foul-mouth Granny (Cloris Leachman), and the cast is mostly television actors. Not that there is anything wrong with that, but sadly as comedies go the film never rises above the sitcom level.
Quick gist: After little Lance Keely shoots the guard, nothing much happens to him, but his mom Jenna sees the incident as a wake up call and despite living in a town where the men LOVE their guns, she starts a gun-free town movement among the ladies, and before you know it, there are a whole lot of frustrated men torn between their love of guns and their love of sex. Throw in an evil stand-in for the NRA who tries to get involved and keep the gun lovers on his side by bringing a truckload of hookers to town and hilarity doesn’t really ensue.
While I applaud the idea, the script is pretty heavy handed. Mom quotes a lot of statistics and even decides to get into politics to effect the change she is promoting. Spike Lee tried to tell the story last year in Chi-Raq with equally disappointing results. Perhaps Lysistrata isn’t the best choice to take on American gun violence. Wait for Is That a Gun in Your Pocket? on television, where is truly belongs and your expectations are lowered.