And here’s why I didn’t.
A “sneak preview” was advertised as part of the fest: “A well-known independent major label” with their “big summer release.” I’m thinking A Scanner Darkly? Clerks 2? I knew that big sneaks happen at festivals. It’s how I saw Hellboy even before Revolution Studios did at SXSW one year. So I decided to forgo mutant cow fetuses (Irish mutant cow fetuses) for this.
Well, it wasn’t A Scanner Darkly. It wasn’t Clerks 2. It wasn’t even Art School Confidential.
It was Another Gay Movie.
Hadn’t heard of that one? Well, you probably haven’t heard of the “well-known independent major label,” either. That would be TLA Releasing. Now, much love to TLA. They run the Philly Film Society and the Philly Film Fests. They have a mad decent video rental chain to boot. But “well-known” and “major” does not describe them just yet.
Still, I wasn’t too disappointed. I was actually kind of curious. Why? Flashback to The 2004 Philadelphia International Gay and Lesbian Film Festival. There I attended a reading of the screenplay for a film called…wait for it…Another Gay Movie. Scott Thompson (The Kids in the Hall) was present. And it was funny as hell. At the time, it wasn’t clear whether or not the film would ever be made. I was excited to see (a) that it had made it and (b) how it turned out.
And guess what? They got Scott Thompson to play the same role in the actual movie!
And he’s the only funny thing in it for miles.
Somehow, all the raucous humor of the reading got lost on the way to the screen. Now, the film is basically a gay American Pie, with all that entails. Lots of gross-out humor. But here’s the thing I’ve learned by watching this transition. Gross-out humor is actually tough to pull off. On the page, with cracker-jack timing from all involved, the script sang, albeit in a broad USA Up All Night fashion. On the screen, the timing was gone and scenes went from funny gross to just gross. Lines went from clever and witty to just awkward.
The acting makes a big difference. Scott Thompson is in a completely different film here because no one else in the movie can come close to his comic timing. He basically plays the Eugene Levy role. And he does it flawlessly.
Sadly, he’s only in a few scenes, so it gets kind of painful. And all the cameos in the world (Graham Norton, Richard Hatch) can’t save it.
I could have seen mutant cow fetuses go sick house on some rural folk. Instead I saw something far more disturbing: Richard Hatch’s junk.
Tomorrow: All’s well that ends with a documentary about crossword puzzles.