movie coverI'd rather be watching TV![IMDB link] [Netflix link] Another comedy directed by Bob Odenkirk — I really had no idea that he had a directing career. For some reason I thought this was written by Daniel Waters, the writer of Heathers and Sex & Death 101. But it wasn’t. So this movie was pretty much a complete accident.

PEOPLE: Bob Odenkirk directs, as mentioned before. Michael Blieden wrote this, and stars as Melvin. He also directed Super High Me and had a guest spot in Arrested Development. Maura Tierney (from News Radio and E.R.) is in this too, but not as one of the main 4 characters. The other main characters were Stephanie Courtney (who was also in The Brothers Solomon, Tom Goes To The Mayor, Tim And Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!, Blades Of Glory, E.R., Celebrity Deathmatch, Angel, and Mr. Show), Matt Price (who was also in Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story, Legally Blonde 2, and guested on Arrested Development), and Annabelle Gurtwitch (who has guested on various shows over the years, such as Boston Legal, Charmed, Suddenly Susan, Seinfeld, Dream On, Tales From The Crypt, Alien Nation, Murphy Brown, China Beach, and Miami Vice). Despite these people being involved in so many projects I am aware of, everyone in this movie was barely recognizable to me. Except Jenna Fischer (Pam from The Office [US]), who played a VERY minor part.

QUIRKS: On the surface, this movie is simply 4 people talking over dinner and drinks for the entire movie. Melvin only knows the 2nd person at the table, who only knows Melvin and the 3rd person, who only knows the 2nd person and the 4th person, who only knows the 3rd person. [highlight for spoilers] Or so we think… There is actually one person who knows another person in secret, and it is not revealed until mostly through the movie. Can you guess who? Also, this movie goes BACKWARDS at times. The chronology is quite scattered, and jumps back and forth in time. Scenes happen, and then previous scenes are played, exposing the motivations in the previous (but occurring chronologically later) scene. It was reminiscent of Memento, Rules Of Attraction, and other such chronologically twisted movies. At least 10% of the movie takes place outside the diner — but that is usually due to flashbacks.

BAD STUFF: There is a LOT of talk, and ZERO action. There was a very moving conversation about ghosts that, while quite compelling, didn’t really seem to belong in the movie. Again: LOTS of talk. And confusion. Time-based confusion, and motivation-based confusion. It’s a mystery of sorts too, in that there is a major twist mostly through the movie. This movie occurs completely in your head. If you want to sit back and watch action, fantasy, and boobies, this isn’t it…

RECOMMENDATION: …But if you like intense conversations with friends over drinks, and enjoy deep meaningful conversations about random topics from the metaphysical, to adultery, to anal sex… Then this movie might be for you. It is actually written quite well, and has some very cutting, edgy dialog. I’m actually surprised that Daniel Waters didn’t write this.

CONCLUSION: This was a lot better than we expected. Carolyn seemed to particularly like it. I want to say she wanted to give it an 8 or 9. Myself, I’d give it more like a 7 or an 8. It was definitely better than the “generic pass” that I give most movies I watch. This movie would actually be interesting to watch a 2nd time, knowing the secret twists and motivations behind all the characters.

MOVIE QUOTE: Joey: “This belief thing kills me. It’s like, all theological concepts are basically unprovable. So they invented faith. Which was genius!”

FRIENDS’ RATINGS: Glen really liked it.

Mood: still hungry
Music: Dethklok – Better Metal Snake