When a group of women decide to combat violence by denying intimacy to their men, the results are outrageous and uproarious. At least they were in last year’s “Chi-Raq.” Not so much in “Is That a Gun in Your Pocket?” — the latest riff on “Lysistrata,” a 2,400-year-old Athenian sex comedy.
Set in a Texas hamlet that might as well be named Sitcom, writer-director Matt Cooper’s flaccid satire begins when a boy takes a loaded pistol to school. Bullets accidentally fly, although the most grievous injury is to an elderly crossing guard’s dignity. The kid’s outraged mother, Jenna (Andrea Anders), responds by insisting her husband (Matt Passmore) renounce his firearms. He refuses, and the sex strike begins.
This complicates life for the stereotypical Latino couple next door (Fernanda Romero and Horatio Sanz), who are trying to have a baby, and for Jenna’s teenage daughter (Katherine McNamara), who promised her boyfriend she’d go all the way on their first anniversary. But the war of the sexes provides lots of ammunition for a grandma (Cloris Leachman) whose dialogue alone guarantees the R rating.
Jenna actually blasts a few well-aimed rounds at a group the film calls the National Gun Organization, as well as at the U.S. Supreme Court. (The crusading mom quickly gets up to speed on the 2008 decision that overturned D.C.’s gun restrictions.) Most of the time, though, the movie is too busy being saucy or sappy to even look at its target.
R. At Regal Ballston Common Stadium 12. Contains profanity, sexual banter, comic violence and nudity. 97 minutes.