It's early July in Philadelphia. Childhood trauma has its hold on Harris Malden: he has no facial hair, so to compensate, he draws a mustache or beard on his face every morning, and he ...
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It's early July in Philadelphia. Childhood trauma has its hold on Harris Malden: he has no facial hair, so to compensate, he draws a mustache or beard on his face every morning, and he won't leave his neighborhood. His younger brother, Melvin, his best friend Paul, who lives next door, Paul's grandmother, and the entire neighborhood play along. But at the party for his 25th birthday, Paul's new girlfriend Susan points out to Harris that his mustache is a fake. This causes a crisis in Harris and threatens the friendship with Paul. Meanwhile, Melvin is trying to break into TV commercials. Hair, honesty, growing up, and moving on challenge each character and each relationship. Written by
Heard about it from a friend on Facebook and decided to buy it on iTunes because the trailer looked funny.
Was very pleasantly surprised. It's wasn't anything like I was expecting; Stella-esquire absurdest humor meets zany group comedy a la Super Troopers, but was actually a lot closer to The Baxter or even Punch Drunk Love.
But much more subtle. Which may or may not be a good thing depending on the viewer. I love those aforementioned films, but they draw a line, where-as this one I could see being much more a crowd pleaser for a wider audience.
It is real quirky, but not for the sake of being quirky (like so many indie comedies are these days), and there's more than enough story to keep even those w/o the right sense of humor engaged.
In fact, I think the biggest surprise for me was that the story and the dependency themes were actually the thrust, rather than the comedy. But it is incredibly funny. Plenty of laugh out loud moments, and a whole lot of smirks and smiles in between.
Last but not least, the film creates it's own world, and that to me is generally the mark of good storytelling meeting good craftsmanship. Yes the lead character has a fake mustache, but it's believable in the world they've created, just like the Jaguar Shark is real in the world Wes Anderson creates in the Life Aquatic, etc.
Between this and On The Road With Judas, I got a real treat streak going on iTunes right now.
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