Man dons blue suit, unable to fly
This is a gentle little indie film about loneliness and alienation. Well, mostly it's gentle. It has kind of a despair-ish angry undercurrent to it. But it works.
It's also a comedy, which by golly says a lot for Scott Prendergast (writer/director/actor), since it's not easy to make loneliness and alienation funny.
The story goes like this....
You've got your pathetic screw-up, Salman (Prendergast), who's asked by his mom to help big sister Leslie (Lisa Kudrow) with her 2 preadolescent boys. Leslie's husband is off fighting in Iraq and, with no one to watch the kids, she's been off work for awhile.
But Leslie has to go back to work, or lose her and the kids health benefits, so Salman's job is to babysit. Now, these two boys see him as some kind of threat and hate his guts. Seriously. Like thumb tacks-in-the-cereal, ingest-cleanser-while-asleep serious.
Leslie hates Salman's guts too (the poor sod). Something about him and her wedding and nobody in the family's wanted him around since. Anyway, after awhile Leslie gets the kids into daycare, then tells Salman to get a job or leave (betting he'll leave).
But Salman doesn't have anywhere to go, so he ends up taking a job as a big creepy blue mascot for a failing dot com (where his sister works). The job consists of Salman dressing up in a big blue foam rubber suit and standing out front of the building, on the edge of the road, handing out flyers. Which he does.
It's a darn funny film, what with the boys' kill-attempts and Salman's blue-suit escapades, but along the way it also really explores it's characters and the ways they cope with aloneness and perceived lack of meaning in their lives.
It's a very visual (uh, duh) film, in that a lot of that exploration takes place without using dialogue, like the old guy (Thermos Man) we see on Salman's bus rides to and from work. He doesn't say anything (intelligible) throughout the movie, but his scenes add up in such a way that's really poignant.
And Lisa Kudrow does a nice job of playing a tapped out mom who's hopes have faded to nothing. At first I thought they'd used some kind of makeup to get her looking older and, well, dumpier. But it's really just the set of her face and the way she carries herself in the film. It's ACTING. Nice.
Well worth watching.
FOUR BLUE BRAINS
Director: Scott Prendergast
Writer: Scott Prendergast
Tagline: Every family has a black sheep. This one is blue.
Lisa Kudrow - Leslie
Scott Prendergast - Salman
Christine Taylor - Betty
Conchata Ferrell - Kathleen
Jeffrey Morgan - Brad
Chris Parnell - Frank
Teri Garr - Suze
Angela Sarafyan - Ramona
Patricia Buckley - Elizabeth P.
Cameron Wofford - Cameron
Landon Henninger - Lincoln
Raquel Gavia - Esme
Bill Toney - Thermos Man
Nick Holden - Leonard
Matt Hensarling - Jared