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Rub & Tug (2002)

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Ratings: 5.0/10 from 490 users  
Reviews: 8 user | 7 critic

Rub & Tug is a sexy comedy that takes place at a "full body" massage parlour.

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(original screenplay), (original screenplay)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Conrad
...
Cindy
...
Betty
...
Lea
Richard Zeppieri ...
Lawrence
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Justin
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Henry
Susanne Sutchy ...
April
...
Bob
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Larry
...
Mike
Lok Archer ...
Mr. Wong
...
Kevin
Paul Tedeschini ...
Line up client
...
Teenager client
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Storyline

Wanting more free time for himself, Lawrence, the owner of a full body massage parlor, hires a new manager for the store. The person he hires for the job is Conrad, a seemingly nice but feckless man. Conrad's main responsibility as manager is to ensure that the three masseuses working there are not doing full service jobs, i.e. having sex with the clients, otherwise the police could shut the store down. Lawrence is sure the three are performing full service jobs so that they can make more money. Those three are cynical and acerbic tongued Betty who has a longer term financial plan for her life beyond her current work, nipple fetishist Lea who is hiding her profession from her boyfriend Henry, and Asian Cindy, a naive woman who is working in Canada illegally. Cindy is hoping to find a Canadian husband - even one in a marriage of convenience - so that she can stay in Canada and make a decent living to support her family back home. Conrad's relationship with the three women, especially ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

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It's a business doing pleasure for you. See more »

Genres:

Comedy

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sexual content and language | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

1 November 2002 (Canada)  »

Also Known As:

Les masseuses  »

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User Reviews

 
Writer-Director's First and "Last" Feature
10 July 2007 | by (Kentucky) – See all my reviews

I'm afraid this one is pretty dreadful, despite several good performances and generally competent acting-for-the-camera direction. It's a first and last attempt by writer-director Soo Lyu. "Rub and Tug" (2002) is one of the unfortunate by-products of Canada's program to promote home-grown film-making. While the program encourages worthwhile efforts like "New Waterford Girl" it opens the door for untalented novices like Lyu who did not have to aggressively pitch this project but was green-lighted without an adequate examination of her script or her credentials.

You don't mind the low budget because the shabby production design, bad lighting, poor audio, and dreary docu-style shot selection is consistent with the subject matter; the workers in Canadian massage parlors. But the dialogue and the plotting doesn't give the actors anything to work with, the editor much to assemble, or a viewer any mental challenge other than suspension of disbelief. When your story is this simplistic the last thing you need is a muddled storytelling technique; even though nothing happens, the movie is hard to follow and point-of-view impossible to pin down.

Don McKellar's performance as Conrad is several notches below his similar characterization in "Exotica". Lindy Booth's Lea is her standard quirky airhead; as always she is likable but here she is little else. Kira Clavell's Cindy is a pleasant surprise, a kind of Asian Shelley Duval. The only other role of any consequence, Tara Spencer-Nairn's street-wise Betty, more than cancels out her excellent performance in "New Waterford Girl". Her shallow performance in "Rub and Tug" should curtail any tendency to seek out other films in which she has appeared; unless you need further confirmation of "Waterford" director Alan Moyle's skill in working with young actors.

You quickly conclude that Lyu's reptilian brain cannot grasp concepts like plot complexity, so the need to insert a lazy and lame "deus ex machina" device toward the end is hardly a surprise. Still it could be worse, the listless story has so little internal logic anyway that the unlikely ending is not as painful as would normally be the case.

Then again, what do I know? I'm only a child.


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