This childish and silly film involves a number of vomit, excrement and gonad jokes. It’s vulgar and brash and bright and warm and I absolutely adored it.
The lure was a one off screening at the Stratford Picture House and one to add to my Sam Rockwell quirky performance collection. He’s great here in a dual role as a science fiction hero called Brutus/Bronco and, touchingly, as our hero’s dead dad.
Michael Angarano is terrific as Benjamin, a young writer who goes to a special writing camp and has his work noticed by an author he respects. He also meets a girl, Tabatha, (played by Halley Feiffer) and a young film-maker called Donoho (Hector Jimenez). Feiffer and Jimenez are wonderful and have bright futures in film.
It turns out the author Benjamin respects has feet of clay. Jemaine Clement hams this up for all it’s worth, in a deliciously camp take on science fiction writers, movies and conventions He even brings pathos to his writing block agony.
Angarano brings a nuanced and genuinely everyman take to the role which lifts the whole film. You feel every emotion with him. This goes WAY beyond youthful angst and much of the set piece business aimed at the teen market.
Jennifer Coolidge plays the mom, Judith (didn’t she used to be somebody?) and the grown ups seems to be having just as much fun in this delightful romp as the kids. Heck, I giggled at the vomit gags and I usually think they are just plain vulgar.
As an additional note, Zager and Evans’ song “In The Year 2525” is used to good effect. I like a blast from the past and this song was the soundtrack to one great summer in my life. It’s personal, but it really works well in this film.
Jared and Jerusha Hess are responsible for this lovely and kind-hearted nonsense, writing and directing. Go with teenagers and prepare to enjoy it even more than they do.