Business and pleasure mix in Paul Verhoeven’s Tricked, a screwball comedy about a CEO, his mistresses, and a corporate acquisition. Before production, only four pages of the script were written—on the premise of a pregnant woman arriving at her former paramour’s fiftieth birthday party—the rest were crowdsourced. The fifty-plus minute feature was divided into five segments, each segment evolved from the continuous suggestions that Verhoeven and crew pored over. This interactive experimental technique yielded a conventional product: a small portion of tasteful tastelessness. The camerawork is nimble (Lennert Hillege, Richard Van Oosterhout), the score playful yet televisionesque (Fons Merkies), and the performances ooze with secrecy, mischief, and chicanery stemming from the actors not knowing the outcomes themselves.
By Alec Julian & Carrie White