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Reviews for January 1st, 2010


A Film with Me in It

Directed by Ian Fitzgibbon.


Mark (Mark Doherty), an aspiring actor, lives in a dilapidated apartment in Dublin with his girlfriend, Sally (Amy Huberman), paraplegic brother, David (David Doherty), and their dog, Jersey. His friend, Pierce (Dylan Moran), happens to live in the same apartment building and aspires to become a film director and writer. Mark hasnít told his girlfriend that he chose to spend the rent money on other expenses instead, so, soon enough, their landlord, Jack (Keith Allen), threatens them with eviction. Through a series of tragic accidents, Jersey ends up crushed-to-death by a cupboard, David dies when a loose chandelier falls on top of him, Jack dies from a stab wound on his neck after falling while changing a light bulb and Sally also dies accidentally. All of those deaths occur within Markís apartment, so now and itís up to Mark and David to come up with a plan that wouldnít make those accidents look so unlikely and suspicious. What ensues is a dark comedy in the vein of Shallow Grave and Very Bad Things that starts out wickedly funny and witty, but becomes rather uneven and less imaginative later in the second act. It lacks the consistent zaniness and an appropriate balance of tone found in dark comedy classics such as Eating Raoul and Arsenic and Old Lace, or the underrated 8 Heads in a Duffel Bag. Screenwriter Mark Doherty should have taken the dark comedy to further heights and kept the laughs coming throughout while adding more bite to the dialogue. A scene where Mark and David kidnap a policewoman simply falls flat. Fortunately, the entire cast keeps you engaged with their performances, especially when it comes to Dohertyís deadpan performance as Mark; thereís something about his facial expressions and physical features in general that make him quite funny in an offbeat sort of way. At an ideal running time of 1 hour and 29 minutes, A Film with Me in It manages to be an often wickedly funny and witty dark comedy that becomes somewhat uneven in tone and eventually loses its steam as well as its bite.
Number of times I checked my watch: 2
Opens at the IFC Center.





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