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Going to America (2014)

Last Supper (original title)
It is a funny, touching fairy tale about two romantic and ambitious lunatics (Eddie Griffin and Josh Meyers) who escape a mental institution with a video camera and set out to make a movie ... See full summary »

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Cast

Credited cast:
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Fumnanya
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Andy
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Candy
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Nurse Betty
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Desk Sergeant
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Herself - Famous Director
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Amy
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
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TV news anchor
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Pharmacist
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Dr. Tucker
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John Murray
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Brunette
Leonel Claude ...
Orderly
Billynaire Cruz ...
Holmes guy
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Girl on street
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Storyline

It is a funny, touching fairy tale about two romantic and ambitious lunatics (Eddie Griffin and Josh Meyers) who escape a mental institution with a video camera and set out to make a movie about the romantic quest to rescue a princess and be rewarded with a magical kiss. Written by Anonymous

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Genres:

Comedy | Drama

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Release Date:

28 August 2015 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Going to America  »

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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film screened on opening night and swept 22nd San Francisco Global Movie Fest 2014 with 5 Award wins, including Best Director - Param Gill, Best Actor - Eddie Griffin, Best Actress - Najarra Townsend, Best Editor - Ludmil Kazakov and Best of Fest. See more »

Soundtracks

Granny's Jazz
Written and Performed by Adrian Boluarte Chong
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User Reviews

 
A Dark Comedy in Hollywood
23 March 2015 | by (New York City) – See all my reviews

Last Supper's star-studded cast includes Eddie Griffin (Malcolm & Eddie, Undercover Brother, Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo), Josh Meyers (Mad TV, Date Movie, That '70s Show, Brüno, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon), Najarra Townsend (Me and You and Everyone We Know, Contracted, The Toy Soldiers), and none other than Penny Marshall (as herself). (Lindsay Lohan was originally offered a part as well.) The combination of familiar faces and recognisable Hollywood-style comedic structure makes Last Supper a distinctive work in the independent film world.

Fumnanya (Griffin) and Andy (Meyers) escape from a psychiatric hospital intending to make a movie about a romantic quest to rescue a princess -- with the intention of being rewarded for their efforts with a kiss. Fumnanya leads the way, intent to find the right woman to rescue. The women of Los Angeles whom they meet are near universal in their rejection of Fumnanya's advances, which result in incredulous laughs and occasional slaps across the face. There is one woman receptive to their strange charm, however: she goes by Candy (Townsend).

Though Fumnanya doesn't realise it, Candy is very clearly a sex worker. Adorned in a luxurious fur coat and a tight-fitting black dress, she casually walks down a dark street of Los Angeles when Andy and Fumnanya catch up with her. 'That is our princess', Fumnanya tells Andy, 'I am sure of it. She looks like she needs to be saved.'

In a way, Fumnanya is right: Candy finds herself in a difficult situation, constantly hounded for money by her pimp and driven by despair to the brink of suicide. The friends' quest and her own quickly become intertwined.

The film is funny – no small achievement. By the end you will find yourself caring for the protagonists more than you might expect. The absurdity of their quest, their good intentions, and their big hearts have a certain charm. The dark, comedic relationship that develops between Candy, Andy, and Fumnanya creates depth to the film, exploring Candy's unfolding despair and the deepening empathy of the two friends that accompanies it.

The film never loses sight of its own absurdity, however, and it is first and foremost a comedy. The absurd characters involved, including the hospital's psychiatrist (Joe Sabatino), his lover, Nurse Betty (Mindy Robinson), and Candy's grandmother (Christine Kellogg-Darrin) – the last of whom looks remarkably like Jodie Foster – make the drama delightfully ridiculous. The characters are deeply flawed, and their absurd interactions are fun to watch. The film bears the unmistakable marks of modern Hollywood, including absurd humour, wacky and shallow characters, unnecessary nudity, and a formulaic fairy tale plot. By being predictable, the film is also reassuring – it is comforting in its adherence to the inevitable Hollywood ending.

There are unfortunate dark sides to the film's plot, however; and despite the film's self-conscious absurdity, the premises of the narrative deserve serious critique. The jokes whose punchlines depend on the apparent mental illness of the protagonists, or on Fumnanya's foreign name, are tasteless and uncomfortable. They feel like they've been lifted from another era. Fumnanya speaks with a heavy foreign accent, which apparently makes this mentally ill character even funnier. (Fumnanya, by the way, is a feminine name in Igbo. Is it also supposed to be funny that he's a man with a woman's name?)

Sometimes these jokes appropriately reflect the comic stupidity of the people speaking them, such as when Andy's and Fumnanya's quack-of-a-psychiatrist tells the chief of police that his two escaped patients are suffering from 'sexual delusions'; or when the police chief refers to them as 'loonies'; or when Candy asks condescendingly about Fumnanya, 'is he retarded?' (to which Andy provides the uncomfortable response: 'Borderline.'). But more often it appears that the film takes these comedic premises seriously. The film's trailer calls them 'madmen' who 'escape from a hospital'. Whilst inside the psychiatric facility, Fumnanya and his fellow patients drool on themselves and shuffle around like stuporous zombies. It's a grotesque parody of mental illness, and it is in these moments when the humour becomes psychophobic, mentalist, ableist – and in the case of Fumnanya's exaggerated exoticism – xenophobic. Revolting, in other words. And certainly unfunny.

Still, the film succeeds in many respects. It has the impressive scope of a Hollywood film with the budget of an independent one. Humour is not easy, and neither are lovable characters, and this film has both. The editing (by Ludmil Kazakov) is smooth, the music (by Thomas Andrew Gallegos) fits delightfully with the plot, and the actors give professional performances. The awards that the film has already won testify to the quality of the crew's execution and to the abilities of the film's director. Param Gill is Hollywood's next big independent filmmaker. It will be exciting to see what he comes up with next.


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