Rates: * * * *
Why Did I Watch It? Recommended by fatiekitz.
After the death of their grandfather, two women learn that he left behind nothing but debts, rather than the house they thought they would inherit. The only tangible item they are bequeathed is a sword, said to be a Civil War relic that somehow proves the South actually won. This leads them to a local circle of fanatical conspiracy theorists, and nutcases, as they try and find a buyer.
This simple, stripped back comedy shows how you can work wonders with very little. There are only a couple of locations, and a handful of actors, but nothing more than that is required; the chemistry between the cast, and their wonderful comic performances, do it all.
There are not so much jokes, as a series of subtly ridiculous situations.
Marc Maron stars as pawn shop owner Mel, who helps to facilitate the sale, and he delivers a top notch performance as a world weary guy, frustrated in a million small ways. His furrowed brow and sardonic manner are beautifully pitched against his goofy shop assistant (John Bass), and these mismatched partners have hysterically funny banter with the protaganists, Mary (Michaela Watkins) and Cynthia (Jillian Bell). The scene where the four of them meet, I was properly laughing out loud, especially as Bell becomes ever more distracted by a ceramic milk jug shaped like a cat: ‘It’s a cat shape because cats like milk’, she explains to her friend patiently.
The film also deftly shifts gear at times into something more serious, which was a real surprise. Director Lynn Shelton, who very sadly just passed away, has a stunner of a scene as an ex flame of Maron’s, and Maron himself delivers a remarkably emotional recap of their relationship while the characters are trapped in a van. I mean, boy, he just nails this; you really feel his heartbreak about this relationship that he could not get to work.
These moments take this beyond just a fun comedy making fun of red state America. It also about regular people living their lives, which are full of many moments of tiny tragedy, and the occasional success.
A very funny and human movie. Economic film making at its best.
Vale Lynn Shelton.