02nd Apr2018

‘Who’s Jenna?’ VOD Review

by Kevin Haldon

Stars: Tracey Birdsall, Bill Sorvino, Joseph D’Onofrio, Vincent Pastore, Garry Pastore, Precious Pia, Vic Dibitetto, Jeremy Gilbert, Edwin Guerrero, Jill Christy Reiss, Michael Tota | Written and Directed by Thomas Baldinger


A little while back we had the enigmatic bad-ass female lead Tracey Birdsall on the podcast to chat about her career, her connection to Disney and upcoming projects like The Time War (a Neil Johnson movie we are very much looking forward to seeing). I personally loved chatting to Tracey, you could tell she was excited about the craft and poured herself into each role she landed. So of course I am going to check out more of her projects especially one that boasts comedy, drama and porn… Sounds like all the key ingredients for a rom-com for guys.

When the info for Who’s Jenna? dropped into my inbox I was immediately taken by the mention of some of my Sopranos favourites turning up in this flick and a synopsis that read like a more grown up, rowdier, version of Elisha Cuthbert’s The Girl Next Door (a movie I find to be incredibly underrated). Add to this a quick flex at IMDB and I see this is writer/director Thomas Baldinger’s first real foray into the feature length movie and I have a real soft spot for that kind of step up.

Who’s Jenna? is the story of Jonathan Burke (Bill Sorvino), a very successful financial adviser and pretty lucky in love. We meet Jonathan in a bar with his best friend Andy (Joseph D’Onofrio), when the woman of his dreams Jenna Casey (Tracey Birdsall) walks through the door and they instantly hit it off. However Andy is convinced she is famous porn star Jenna J…. Sorry us mere mortals dare not speak her name. Our new love birds spend a fun movie montage getting to know each other before the movie really kicks into gear. Not only does Jonathan have to put up with best friend, room mate and porn-enthusiast Andy’s constant referral to Jenna being a porn star, but it turns out Jenna’s brother-in-law Joe Barcia (Garry Pastore) is also his boss and kinda going to start blackmailing him.

Who knew that a job promotion and falling head of heels for a porn star lookalike could cause so much drama and chaos in someones life?

I genuinely had fun with Who’s Jenna?, that is once I figured out what Baldinger was doing with some of these characters. Let me explain… There are a couple of characters in this movie that are borderline offensive in almost any situation and for a minute I found myself thinking “wow theses are characters you really don’t need in your movie,” however if you give it a minute the movie fully explains itself and pays off a lot of ground work, adding a lot of extra layers to characters that could of been mistaken for throwaway Sopranos imitations. Plus the couple of scenes I am talking about are really there to make us feel as uncomfortable as our protagonist is (so job done, my hat is off to you Mr Baldinger).

Having said that, great job all round by everyone involved. Bill Sorvino is spot on in the under pressure love lorn lead. Joseph D’Onofrio is brilliant as the best friend comedic role and keeps reminding us of the b-plot of the mistaken porn identity. I love Tracey in this role she is having a ball stretching her comedy chops. There is one scene I think you should look out for when Jenna and Jonathan profess there feelings to each other, not only is this a really well written and naturally performed scene but the two leads make it believable and I bought it (keep and eye on Tracey’s face in this scene, that’s an actress in the moment).

With regards to the storytelling and dialogue I was fairly surprised that a lot of the characters and their story-lines went the way they did, just when you think you know which direction a character is headed and what their role is in the film, they switch it up. People you maybe didn’t like, well you end up being sympathetic to them by the end. This is all credit to writer/director Thomas Baldinger and his strong cast.

There is always time to mention that the movie is opened with a brilliant Vincent Pastore (Sopranos) performance… man it’s good to see Big Pussy on screen again.

Ultimately I really enjoyed Who’s Jenna?, I was taken aback at moments but that’s the sign of a good comedy (your supposed to feel a little uncomfortable). Everyone in it performed great in there respective roles, big shout outs to Joseph D’Onofrio and Tracey Birdsall in particular. Its a quick, its funny, its laugh out loud and an easy 90-odd minute light-hearted good time. I strongly recommend so get it watched.

Who’s Jenna? is available starting on April 24th in 100+ million homes throughout Video On Demand, TV, rental stores and retail outlets from Indican Pictures.


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