A movie about slackers and fuckups, shot with usually-in-focus handheld with little dodges and zooms. The soundtrack is the most professional part – an Of Montreal song follows a Spoon song. The legacy is that this was a key mumblecore movie along with Mutual Appreciation – movies about difficult nobodies which are discussed more for their very low budgets than for any craft.
I didn’t hate the story, but started to hate codirector Mark as he finally loses his shit over the difficulties involved in buying and retrieving a puffy chair for his dad over the internet. Tagging along is his brother Rhett Wilkins, whose open and impulsive character nicely balances Mark’s. And Katie Aselton (recently of She Dies Tomorrow and Synchronic) as “the girl.” I dunno about mumblecore, but if She Dies Tomorrow was the end result then I’m happy to pay respects to its roots.
The movie ends up where all movies must: driving into Atlanta
“Everything is gonna be okay. You know why? Because we’re good people.”
Our four sleuths head home from Canada victorious, with the rescued Chantal (Clare McNulty of Fort Tilden), but having left Keith behind in a shallow grave. They completely fail to act naturally or cover their tracks, evidence mounts against them over the course of the season and two more people end up dead, but they pull it off in the end? No they do not.
Dory’s ex Julian publishes an article about Chantal being a huge fake. Drew briefly dates Chantal and schemes against a coworker, Elliott loses all control and does not write his book, and Portia breaks up with her mom because her theater director Jay Duplass tells her to. Dory blackmails a politician (J. Smith-Cameron, Anna Paquin’s mom in Margaret) to get the money for her own blackmailer, crazy neighbor April (Phoebe Tyers, also of Fort Tilden, which I should obviously watch). Also, Judy Reyes (Scrubs) is Keith’s ex-wife who knows about Dory, Tymberlee Hill (The Hotwives of Orlando) is a cop investigating Keith’s murder, Dory sends an email from a dead man, and a Canadian fucks a tree. Season three coming soon!
Aubrey Plaza (more upbeat here than as April Ludgate) works for douchebag magazine reporter Jake Johnson (of the similarly-titled No Strings Attached) checking up on a shady fellow (Baghead director Mark Duplass) who posted a classified ad looking for time travel partners. Aubrey falls for him, but he predictably discovers her identity as reporter, putting their partnership on shaky ground. They’re followed all along by the most ineffectual government agents ever, while Jake spends a couple days with an ex and hooks up his socially awkward flunky with some loose young girls. I was happy to see Mr. Show’s Mary Lynn Rajskub as the magazine boss, and Katy was excited to see Kristen V-Mars Bell as Duplass’s ex-girlfriend who leads Aubrey that he’s maybe nuts after all, before she decides to trust him at the end and they disappear in his floating time machine.
Happily, the seemingly time-filler sidetracks actually add up to something. Aubrey and Jake state they want to travel back in time to prevent people they love from dying. Duplass is living in a weird place between past and present, fixated on his ex-girlfriend Bell, who he falsely tells Aubrey has died. Meanwhile Jake is trying to relive his past in multiple ways, by leading the young flunky towards a sexual experience, and reconnecting with his own youthful fling Liz, who finally proves to be too mature for Jake.
These Duplass fellas made The Puffy Chair and are somehow involved with Ryan “Half Nelson” Fleck, Joe “LOL” Swanberg and Andrew “Mutual Appreciation” Bujalski.
Four movie extras go to a cabin in the woods to script their own indie movie to kickstart their careers. The girls want to make a relationship drama and the guys want to make a horror about a killer with a bag on his head. Meanwhile, they themselves are having relationship drama and being stalked by a dangerous bagheaded dude. So sorta like Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon, except the movie tries to bring its own humor instead of deriving all fun from geeky references to horror movie tropes. Naw, it’s still pretty geeky, and instead of playing with two filmmaking styles (handheld doc / slick studio horror) like in Behind The Mask, this one goes all the way shaky-cam. I am glad I watched it in a window on my computer or it would’ve driven me batshit… when the cam isn’t shaking enough, the cameraman (a Duplass himself) plays with the zoom lens to keep us from getting comfortable. Jerk.
L-R: dude who is appearing in new Amy Poehler show, Baghead, Hannah from Hannah Takes the Stairs
L-R: appeared in the Prom Night remake, appeared in Vampire Lesbian Kickboxers
Okay I totally liked it but I’m not sorry I didn’t watch it fullscreen.