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Film Geek (R)

Release Date: February 10th, 2006 (Quad Cinema) by First Run Features.
The Cast: Melik Malkasian, Tyler Gannon, Matt Morris, Tara Walker.
Directed by James Westby.

BASIC PREMISE: Scotty Pelk (Malkasian), a dorky, movie-obsessed video store clerk, gets fired and befriends Niko (Gannon), a girl who shares his passion for movies. Based on a true story.

ENTERTAINMENT VALUE: Every once in a while comes an unforgettable movie which resonates so much humor and panache that it knocks your socks off. Film Geek does precisely that. Melik Malkasian gives a very convincing performance as Scotty, the titular film geek who can’t get along with anyone who doesn’t share his passion for film. His one-track mind and annoying habit of discussing movies with customers and coworkers gets him easily fired from his job at a video rental store. On top of that, his own movie website absolute no website traffic even though he wears a cap promoting his website. In a hilarious scene, he wanders around town to find a job at another video store, but ends up working at an auto-parts warehouse with his video store uniform still on. Like the character of Seymour in Ghost World , he’s intelligent, lively, and charming, but when it comes to dating women, he doesn’t hold his breath in that department—until he meets Niko. While on a bus, he can’t help but notice that Niko is reading a book about film, so, naturally, he follows her and strikes up a brief but pointless conversation. Soon enough, they accidentally run into eachother again, but this time they sit down to have coffee. Just the fact that Niko can tolerate his endless ramblings about without leaving him makes her the perfect catch. Once Brandon (Morris), her tough ex-boyfriend, shows up, Scotty has someone to compete with. In a laugh-out-loud scene, Niko introduces Scotty to the world of partying. Just watch his facial expressions when he inhales marijuana from a bong. It doesn’t quite make sense why he doesn’t understand what it means when girls “experiment” with one another—hasn’t he watched enough movies about that? The plot does feel predictable and slightly contrived, but writer/director James Westby knows how to keep the laughs coming with his stellar writing and directing skills. He masterfully turns Scotty into a complex, memorable character full of energy and panache.

SPIRITUAL VALUE: Scotty’s life obviously revolves around his passion movies—or does his passion for movies revolve around him? Either way, he needs to have at least some control over his passion, or else it will become an unhealthy obsession. He must also experience life and take bold risks. Fortunately, his relationship with Niko allows him to do just that. Their scenes together feel touching because they both truly understand one another. Anyone can find their niche in society, as long as they, like Scotty, open their hearts and minds to other people who share their interests. How’s that for inspiration?



IN A NUTSHELL: A hilarious, inspiring, and unforgettable indie gem!

RECOMMENDED WAY TO WATCH: Movie Theater (1st Run)

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