6.6/10
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Brazzaville Teen-Ager (2013)

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22 April 2013 (USA)  »

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Nicely odd story which is generally good enough to engage and please
27 March 2014 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Gunther's father is sick in hospital – an event which he often thought would see is father's steely reserve break down and them become closer, but so far neither that nor a recovery is on the cards. In order to force both, Gunther decides that he must humiliate himself in a very specific way – by getting his imposing boss (an aging man who has spent his life in publishing) to sing the backing vocals on a track currently being recorded by Kelis.

This very dry film is not hilarious but it does have a nicely absurd idea at the core and it uses that as the hook to delivery some nicely funny moments but also deliver a simple tale on the lack of communication between a father and his son, both of whom are very closed off. As a film it is not a total success because it doesn't do too much of any of the specific things it has going on – for example the father/son aspect is really down to the final few lines of the film, but it does still work. Cera is solid in the lead although as usual is a version of the rather inverted and awkward character he always plays. He is well supported by O'Connell (who is very funny in his straight role), while Kelis and Grodin add their faces and aid the joke.

The short is nicely put together and Cera does a good job of directing the action and getting good moments (in particular a close shot of O'Connell) and generally there is enough in the short film to make it nicely odd and engaging even if it is never brilliant or particularly strong in any specific aspect.


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