Movin In review by Tom Blain
Marc (Alex Yves) is a 24-year old Swiss man who is toiling in the boredom of his life. After another depressing day he finally decides to take a leap and change something; his location. He flies out to Los Angeles where he has a) a friend named Tad (Griff Furst), b) an internet girlfriend and c) a dream of becoming a legitimate actor. Once he gets out there, cruel realities start to set in. His internet beau is at least 20 years older and 100 lbs heavier than he hoped and getting a job as an actor isnt as easy as just finding an agent. The one thing he has to rely on is his old buddy Tad, who unfortunately isn't too reliable himself. Just as Marc is about to move in Tad is getting kicked out by his mother so the two eventually setup a scheme to live in a nursing home. The two share a room and they also share eyes for the same girl, Ann (Christy Carlson Romano).
Movin' In owes a lot to the early work of Kevin Smith, and at times has the feel of something like Clerks or Mallrats. The buddy, setup is similar; Marc is the wandering non-committal whiner and Tad is the blowhard, rough around the edges sidekick. By the end of the movie, Tad is able to push Marc past his fears and into action. Also like many of the earlier Smith films there is the hint of sexual comedy that pushes the envelope. In the case of Clerks most of the humor is spoken while in Movin' In its nearly executed. The opening shot of Marc's boner under whitey tighties; CHECK! Marc nearly being raped by a large black man in a speedo; CHECK! Marc nearly being raped by an 80 year old Estelle Harris (aka George's mom from Seinfeld); CHECK!
Where it breaks off from Smith is in its slapstick. There is a lot of goofy, borderline over the top physical comedy. In the first ten minutes of the film Marc falls over a number of times, kicks sand accidentally on two sets of people, vomits, passes out in a parking lot, wakes up and hits his head on Tads incoming bumper, gets a sunburn, and gets caught masturbating. With the direction of the film and cinematography being as rough as it is a lot of the action comes off as extremely campy and amateur. It had hits of a B-comedy from the 80s; a throwback from late night Cinemax or USA Up-All-Night, but without the ladies losing their bikini tops. In one scene Marc is running away from some thieves in a nursing home. He stops to buy a box of apples and proceeds to use the apples to cause the pursuants to fall down the stairs. However, in the screen time it takes him to purchase the apples he could have easily kept running and gotten away.
Rough around the edges is also a way to describe some of the acting. There are moments where a few of the characters shine. The Indian cab driver is funny, but somehow out of place. Tads character is uneven, but there are moments when his character is enjoyable; especially when he is passing for his grandfather. In general the Ann character carries on well. But in general, a lot of the performances are uneven, over-the-top or just flat.
Movin' In has some moments but none that are truly executed well enough to be considered laugh out loud moments. The amateur execution of the film fails to carry out some possibly funny ideas.
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