Realism is not a common standard; this films shines!
1 January 2001
This film was very singular and refreshing in approach. Watching it made me wish that more filmmakers today would take a little breather and remember their early filmmaking experiences, especially what it felt like to be creative and not to care about convention. This film is brutally honest about its low budget and wry humor from the very beginning, so you are encouraged to lower your expectations; once you do, you'll find it hysterically funny.

One pitfall I see in comedies today is that they are often attempted in a realistic style, which makes them appear embarrassingly and insultingly unbelievable (read, ANYTHING with Adam Sandler). People don't realize that realism is not the standard against which all film is measured; it is just another style, and it demands believability. A style like presentationalism or farce gives the audience permission to find the piece funny, since we already know it's not real. This film was true to its style of comedic farce. Yes, the skunk was stuffed. It was supposed to be. Yes, the accents stunk. They were no more believable than the idea of two Scottish brothers, one a love-struck, drug dealing poet and the other a lawyer, living on the Central Coast of CA and flying back and forth to Scotland to visit their three witch-aunts. Again, the film makes no pretense of being serious drama, here -- it asks you to play along because it knows it's not real.

In criticism of the film, I wasn't wild about the female character; I thought she was vapid and mono-dimensional; the actress didn't do an admirable job, but it's hard when you don't have much scripted character to work with. Let's hope these guys learn how to write women a little better. Shakespeare, after all, created one of the most complex characters in theater in Lady Macbeth, and that was an element I missed. Why not a final scene where she strangles the Banquo-skunk's lover with her bare hands and wanders, perfumed and babbling madly, never ceasing hand-washing motions...the Bard might have even liked that.

In general, this film is an enjoyable rental and very creative.
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