Extra Ordinary (2019)

Rates: * * * *

Why Did I Watch It? Recommended by fatiekitz.

Cast, crew, etc.


In small town Ireland, a lonely driving instructor tries to ignore her supernatural gifts. She sees the dead, can communicate with them, but her ‘talents’ inadvertantly lead to the death of her father, and now she wants a normal life. Then a young girl is kidnapped by a satanically inclined rockstar, and the girl’s dorky single dad needs help; time to exorcise those demons, literal and figurative.

But this is one of those films where the plot is pretty much inconsequential. It’s a standrad horror riff, which just serves as a superstructure for a blizzard of wryly funny gags. A lot of the comedy relies on the characters, who are a very likable group of oddballs.

In her film debut, Irish comedian Maeve Higgins is terrific as the supernaturally sensitive Rose. Her earnest, straight faced demeanour is the perfect counterpoint to the movie’s nutty shenanigans, and a lot of the laughs come from how she reacts, or doesn’t react, to what happens. Never wrong footed by a ghost, Rose also keeps both feet in her mouth whenever she tries her hand at romance. Even watching her sit on the bouncy exercise ball in her kitchen, is funny as heck.

‘Now press down on the accelerator’.

Will Forte is also tops as Christian Winter, the aging rocker who wants Satan to help him write a hit album (after a chart topping debut, Winter torpedoed his own career with his follow up, titled ‘I Like My Hat’). His ridiculous hair and moustache, overly elaborate outfits, and modulated voice are all hysterical, the scene where he gets a driving lesson from Rose is one of the funniest things I have seen in a long time (Rose: now press down on the accelerator; Winter: tries to do it with his hand).

These are just the standouts, in an excellent ensemble. One of the great strengths of the movie is that even the minor players get their moments to shine, other highlights including; Winters’ egregiously awful Australian GF (Claudia O’Doherty), Rose’s bestie who’s trying internet dating while 9 months pregnant (Carrie Crowley), and the old codger whose graphic description of a vicious “wolf man” actually turns out to be a fox (Eamon Morrissey). The film makers have really created an entire universe of deadpan hilarity, with laughs everywhere you look.

This might be a little too droll for some tastes, but if you are on its wavelength: very funny stuff. Killer closing credits song by Jarvis Cocker too (I added this to my all time fave song playlist on Spotify, and have listened to it 8 more times since).

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