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Matthew J. Evans,
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Joe Lo Truglio
Dark comedy is something I enjoy a lot but unfortunately it is something that is very easy to do badly and it is impressive when you find a film that really manages to walk that fine line well. In Successful Alcoholics we more or less have this; the plot sees a young professional couple who somehow manage to hold down jobs while mostly spending their nights blackout drunk and their days either suffering or maintaining that drunken buzz they need to just get by. As a story it is surprisingly engaging because you do get interested in the characters because they are not just comedy creations, even though they of course do work as such as well.
The film manages to just about keep them within a reality created by the short, so that although they are extreme to be able to get laughs, they never drift too far from the point where the film ultimately needs to come back to. The dialogue and scenarios are mostly very funny and I liked the darkness always on the edge in particular as the film comes into the final third it is a little touching in what it delivers and how. The performances help this a great deal. Miller is a good presence but it is Caplan that does the best work as she has to bridge the comedic and the serious and she does it very well. Both make good drunks as well it is not as easy to act drunk as you would think but both of them do it convincingly here.
Overall it is an odd film but it is both funny and quite touchingly engaging by the end. It is a dark piece so those expecting pratfalls or frat-boy drunkenness may be disappointed, but this works on a couple of levels and I was surprised by how good a short film it was.
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