Friday, December 24, 2010


Directed by Barnt Sersen.
2009. Rated R, 94 minutes.
Thomas Middleditch
Rachael Taylor
Christopher McDonald
Lea Thompson
Dean Winters
Jason Rogel
Edmund Lyndeck
Pamela Shaw
Frankie Faison
Jason Mantzoukas
Lennon Parham

Justin (Middleditch) is a bit of a loser and a lot of a slacker. He’s grown but lives at home with mom and works for his best friend as a lawn mower. When an attractive girl hustles him for sixty bucks he still takes a shine to her. Well, I did say she’s attractive, right? When she hustles him a second time at the carnival where she works, he falls flat out in love with her. Okay, having a thing for her after she gets over on you once, I can see. Twice? She just isn’t that dang hot. Oh well, such is the way with lonely boys when a real live female that’s not related to them pays them the least bit of attention, I guess.

The girl’s name is Galaxy (Taylor). In case you were wondering, that’s the first clue this is a quirky indy comedy. I think her name is supposed to symbolize the enormity of her presence in Justin’s world, or something. It really just feels like her parent did a lot of drugs.

Anyhoo, to shorten this up a bit, the carnival Galaxy works at is a traveling one, in town for a couple weeks. She has a nasty, tough guy boyfriend named Reggie (Winters) that even she doesn’t like, but is obviously scared to death of. There’s also Bruce (McDonald). He seems to be the only cop in town and is still smarting from his breakup with Justin’s mom (Thompson). Add in the horny aunt (Shaw), the terrible carny magician known as the Amazing Steve (Mantzoukas), his assistant/girlfriend Wyoming (Parham) and Justin’s bestest buddy, Wayne (Rogel) and you have the whole dag-nabbit crew. In case you were wondering, though I don’t know why you would be, Wayne is of Asian descent and his full name is Wayne Chung. Someone who is too clever by half did this so they would have an excuse to use the song Everybody Have Fun Tonight by the group Wang Chung. Whatever.

Oh, I almost forgot the best character. That would be Justin’s 116 year old grandfather Albert (Lyndeck). Through a fortunately unfortunate event, he’s just become the world’s oldest living man. His scenes are consistently among the best.

As for the rest of the movie, it tries real hard. It efforts mightily for our laughs, but rarely earns them. It never gels into a cohesive piece of work. It’s also rather cliché despite all its surface quirkiness. Even worse, since much of it takes place at the carnival, it can’t avoid comparisons to the far superior Adventureland. In fact, I suggest you see Adventureland, instead.

MY SCORE: 4.5/10

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