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Life as a True Struggle
What began as a feel-good suicide 'Indie' film, with strident overtones of highly dysfunctional sexuality all around, quickly devolved into a poorly written Saturday Night Live sketch that struggled on far too long. Which, obviously, is quite sad since the two leads of the film were the two of the ten most solid sketch players, who ever performed of Saturday Night Live in the 40 years of its entirety - the versatile Bill Hader as the cross dressing homosexual Milo Dean, and his sister, the manic depressive Maggie Dean was played by the wonderful Kristen Wiig.
However, well intended, in the final analysis, the collective estimable talents of SNI alums Hader and Wigg would not help this little film. There was no life message, and the film was exceedingly boring as if any attempt at dark comedy was such a terrific struggle that all spontaneity was completely wrung out of the process. My time spent with Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig was just so sad: Sad for me for my time is so valuable; sad for the actors, because they are so much better than this material; sad for art, because the film was well received critically, obviously for the homosexual, cross dressing, manic depressive motifs.
The only pseudo artsy component missing here was men kissing men, which would would have surely raised the film's stock with the intellectual chum that passes for most film reviewers in today's overly sensitized, victimized world. Over-rated, overtly empathetic/ sympathetic, while alternately blind to the essence of story, esteemed film reviewer, the late Roger Ebert, would drone on about the "slice of life film", as if by it being contrived and boring, it would be somehow more real, more meaningful as communicative art.
Arguably, the late Roger Ebert's "slice of life" analogy is most appropriate in this case for this vehicle. Consequently, it was infamous "slice of life" film of petty ambitions, immoral truths and chronic dysfunction of spirit. Moreover, if it was that proverbial "slice of life" must see depiction of real life, it was surely was a rotten slice.
Maybe by experiencing the film, we feel better about our less complicated, better structured, but yet still imperfect existences. Regardless, one would be hard pressed to have a life as sad as the even sadder characters of this pathetic little film directed by Craig Johnson, and written by Johnson with Mark Heyman.
Waste your time at your own peril on this little contrived number at a bloated 93 minutes. I wish I could say more about this pretentious little mess, but I do not wish to waste anymore of my valuable time.
Rated R, Released on DVD December 16, 2014.
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