Saturday, January 31, 2015
IT'S A DISASTER (2012)
Written & Directed By: Todd Berger
Cinematography By: Nancy Schreiber
Editor: Franklin Peterson
Cast: David Cross, Julia Stiles, America Ferrara, Rachel Boston, Kevin M. Brennan, Jeff Grace, Erinn Hayes, Blaise Miller, Laura Adkins
Eight friends meet for their monthly couples brunch. But what starts as an impromptu therapy session/airing of domestic grievances takes a sudden, catastrophic turn when the city falls victim to a mysterious attack. Trapped in the house and unsure of their fates, these seemingly normal people become increasingly unhinged to surprising results.
This could have easily been written off as a modern hipster disaster film. More like a midlife crisis disaster film. That also works as a satire of these familiar characters. The film is filled with unlikeable hyper literate characters dealing with a crisis.
During all of this they never manage to put their self centeredness aside nor their pettiness. For example During one scene they lecture doomed late party guests on the strengths of punctuality. Maybe it's dark but it also exposes some of the audiences dark fears and behavior they would like to deny, but recognize that their behavior might be the same in the same situations.
I enjoyed the direction as it isn't stylized to make the film feel claustrophobic, nor do raise tension but let's you know the serious nature of the situation while the comedic scenes continue.
The film feels like a play within a larger space. As the film is more of an ensemble where each character gets to shine. Luckily the cast work well together as each has a personal drama other then the main event to deal with.
David Cross plays the new guy introduced to the group as he is dating one of them played by Julia Stiles who hasn't seemed this relaxed on screen in a long time. She seems to have a natural ease when it comes to the comedic role. There are more verbal dynamics in this film then emotional nor physical.
Luckily the film moves fast almost like a whirlwind and is over before you know it. Leaving you wanting more and to spend more time with these despicable characters who are actually funny. Though of longer might overstay their welcome.
It's truly an ensemble comedy that feels light as air even as the situation gets worse. Though a few recognizable faces are in the cast. The relative newcomers are the ones who steal the scenes. Maybe as they don’t come with so much baggage or familiarity when it comes to screen performances and roles
The film constantly manages to make you laugh and shock you. Not necessarily shocks just to be shocks, but shocks that seem natural and help the film progress.
I really admire the film as a small production that feels like a breath of fresh air and one where by the end you feel no frustration.
The film is more like a dessert from a 3-star restaurant rather than a meal. Well structured small portioned. Light and delicious.