South Florida native Brian Hecker's uncomfortably strained directorial debut a semiautobiographical comedy about a high school senior who can't find a prom date foolishly believes that Windsor fonts, swing-era songs, and Jews are enough to invoke Woody Allen's wit. It's a quirky indie, you see, as nerdy class vice prez Danny (young Patrick Dempsey look-alike Steven Kaplan) lives in a retirement community overrun by lizards (reinforced ad nauseam by too many shots of herons by the side of the road). Going through the easy motions of rejection after rejection, Danny's quest to get his picture taken with a nice girl plays as a polite coming-of-ager (tonally, it's a poor man's Brighton Beach Memoirs as helmed by a John Hughes fanatic), except when incongruously interrupted by fellatio innuendos, a masturbation scene, and a flatly executed gag about taking a prostitute to the dance. With 19 producers, one wonders how many rich Floridians invested in what might be the year's most unambitious comedy, which somehow pulled in cameos by Jennifer Tilly and, as Danny's divorced folks, Cheryl Hines and William H. Macy, who, as a pathetically horny dad in a Ronald McDonald 'fro, effortlessly steals every scene. Why couldn't the movie have been about him instead?
Mon., April 13, 2009