SXSW Reviews : Small Apartments, The Comedy


So far I’ve seen 12 films at this year’s South by Southwest Film Festival and while I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the majority of them, there are two films I want to single as as being underwhelming and altogether unenjoyable.

The Comedy

Directed by Rick Alverson (“New Jerusalem”), “The Comedy” has been misrepresented as being akin with “Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!,” being as the film stars Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim. The duo currently released “Tim & Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie” so “The Comedy” had a lot of buzz going into the festival. Too bad the title is false advertising, as I found little humor in this pretentious, rather pointless film.

Heidecker plays Swanson, a rich white guy who is completely indifferent to everything, including the notion of inheriting his father’s estate. He spends most of his day being a complete asshole, and might be one of the most unlikeable characters I’ve seen on screen in some time.

The film is this never-ending cycle of mock sincerity – everyone is completely indifferent to what’s happening and no one seems to care about anyone else – which leads me to wonder why anyone should care what happens in the movie itself.

During the Q&A (which was pretty hostile and aggressive), the director was asked what the point of the movie was – what was the message he was trying to get across – and he couldn’t seem to give a logical answer.

The best part of the movie you’ve already seen in preview clips, where Tim and Eric on in the back of a taxi demanding hip-hop music, which leads to an impromptu freestyle song. Skip the movie and just watch this instead:

Small Apartments

Directed by Jonas Åkerlund and written by Chris Millis, “Small Apartments” boasts an impressive cast including Matt Lucas, James Marsden, Johnny Knoxville, James Caan, Billy Crystal, Juno Temple, Dolph Lundgren, Rosie Perez and David Koechner.

The film is about a bizarre man named Franklin Franklin (Matt Lucas) who accidentally kills his landlord. This clumsy weirdo (who wears nothing but tighty-whiteys, knee-high socks and clogs for the better part of the film) has to hide the body only to find constant distractions from the equally unique inhabitants of his small apartment complex.

You would think with such an ensemble of great actors that “Small Apartments” would have had an amazing script – something to draw the likes of James Caan and Billy Crystal into the fold – but I can’t imagine how this film even got made, honestly.

There are moments of hilarity – and there are good performances turned in by most of the cast, including Lundgren as a self-help guru with a horrible spray tan and slicked back hair with a shoe polish sheen. He actually looks a lot like Mit Romney in this role, so maybe there’s a biopic in it for him if enough people are forced to watch the rest of this too-weird-to-be-enjoyable film.