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Bright Day! (2010)

 -  Documentary | Adventure | Comedy
6.9
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A satirical 'documentary' that pokes a sharp and goofy finger at new-age religions, modern self-help movements (ala The Secret, Oprah, etc.) and their seductive 'you can have everything ... See full summary »

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Cast

Credited cast:
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Craig
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Dr. David Dresden
Peter Baynham ...
Spider
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Himself
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Sugar Shaz
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Herself
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Blaney Fife
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Karen Stellar
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Jane
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Himself
Kristin Ciasuli ...
Lumi Tanenbaum / Fruity Lady
David Crissman ...
Burke Ember
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Kevin
Anneliese Euler ...
Shelby
Michael Feldman ...
Michael
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Storyline

A satirical 'documentary' that pokes a sharp and goofy finger at new-age religions, modern self-help movements (ala The Secret, Oprah, etc.) and their seductive 'you can have everything you've ever wanted' message. Tripp Bailey, a washed-up journalist and wanna-be documentarian, as he tries to infiltrate and debunk Pyrasphere, 'Hollywood's Fastest-growing New Religion.' Along the way, Tripp encounters a colorful collection of cultists (including his ex-wife) and their glamorous guru, Gossamyrhh, whose fame-hungry philosophies lead him down a path where he must choose between his own selfish ambitions and his 'journalistic integrity.' Written by Anonymous

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User Reviews

 
Shines a hilarious light on the new age spiritual movement.
17 October 2011 | by (Chicago, IL) – See all my reviews

New age religions have been lampooned in numerous films, but never has there really been a film to combine several of them into one, dedicated comedy. Until now. The brilliantly executed mocumentary, Bright Day! recently played to a sold-out crowd as a darling of the inaugural Chicago Comedy Film Festival.

Maybe its the sunshine, but Southern California, particularly Los Angeles, is a town brimming with spiritual zealots. Finally, actress, writer and director Maggie Rowe, actor, writer and director, Andersen Gabrych, and executive producer, Jim Vallely have created the gorgeously hilarious Bright Day! Hitting the mark as a long overdue mocumentary send-up, the film unflinchingly displays the ironic side effects of the spiritual quests that so many people, particularly Angelenos, are so prone to falling prey to.

Just as actress-director Vera Farmiga's Higher Ground, based upon Carolyn S. Briggs' memoir "This Dark World" successfully details the blind-faith aspects of religion, Bright Day! accurately eclipses the absurdity of that very type of allegiance. Perhaps RockSlyde, starring the infamous Andy Dick and Patrick Warburton could be a distant cousin of Bright Day!, but it was far less successful at skewering the new age follower movement - perhaps because it was borne of the director's request by his mother to make a film without sex and violence. The creators of Bright Day! smartly know that it is not wise to leave both of those out of any film.

Dripping with deliberate self-awareness, Bright Day! follows one man's quest to find the leader of Pyrasphere, the latest new age religious movement to hit Tinseltown, which just happened to steal away his wife. Hallmark performances throughout the film include Marc Evan Jackson as "Tripp Bailry," the downtrodden, forlorn abandoned husband, and writer Andersen Gabrych's frighteningly real portrayal of the quietly maniacal "Reverend Doctor Coyote."

The comedic pedigree attached to this film is worth noting, which could speak to how well it weaves between actuality and the absurd. After all, the film is based upon the writers' knowledge of (and one suspects, experiences with) the new age philosophies dotting the L.A. landscape. Executive Producer Jim Vallely is no slouch when it comes to comedy either (The Golden Girls; Brotherly Love; My Wife and Kids, among many others) as he prepares to re-launch the wildly popular Arrested Development (rumored through Netflix). Loyal fans can also watch for a feature film, too.

With cameos by comedy veteran and Law and Order alumni Richard Belzer, and coming-of-age comedy movie wunderkind, Michael Cera, it also helps when you have a satirical genius like Bill Maher (right on the heels of his Religulous) on board, playing a cynic-skeptic turned convert. Oh, and, according to the filmmakers, his cool digs are featured throughout the film as well.

Unflinchingly funny, the laugh-fest details the price of pursuing spiritual exploits, such as the reality and inevitability of broken families, relationships and depleted bank accounts. The truth is, rather than bring families and people together, these "spiritual journeys" often actually do more to tear human beings apart.

Just like the unrelenting sunshine of Los Angeles (that is, until the torrential rains literally drown the city into pandemonium -- as Conan O'Brien's brilliant "news" send-up demonstrated http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l5p9nWB5q_M) - Bright Day! shines a hilarious light on the false nature of finding true spiritual meaning (whatever that happens to be), while demonstrating the absurdity of the process.

It would be impossible to cover this kind of subject without reaching a certain level of goofiness, but Bright Day! entertainingly follows the wacky pursuit of the cult's illustrious and appropriately gorgeous leader, Gossamyrhh (gloriously played by the luminous writer-director, Maggie Rowe). This story line is ironic in itself, given that religions and cults rarely bend to letting a woman helm them. In fact, many religions literally cast females as mute and loyal servants.

Whether you've either lived in Los Angeles or served time in a cult or not, Bright Day! is really a film to see more than once - because, if you're like me, you'll be laughing so much that you'll miss the next gag - and they're all worth seeing more than once. Thankfully, the film is in the midst of ironing out a distribution deal, so watch for it in a theater near you. And then add it to your collection to watch many more times.


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