That’s not a sentence I thought I’d ever say but it’s true. Douchebag is the brainchild/offshoot of the team of Andrew Dickler and Ben York Jones, and from what I understand it was purely inspired by Andrew’s weirdly cool and funny persona. Note this film was an official selection at Sundance 2010.
The idea of this story sounds simple and cliché: find your childhood sweetheart you have been thinking about your whole life, right when your brother is about to get married. If only life were that simple; but it’s not and there’s nothing cliché about this film. I’m glad I knew nothing ahead of seeing the movie as I will admit I hate movies about “marriage” or “getting married”. I get hives thinking about some of the puke-ridden romantic comedies out there.
As we all know in Rom Coms, boy meets girl ,boy gets girl, boy loses girl and then boy gets girl again. That’s the formula for every cheese-ball lousy flick from here to Bagdad. (Yeah I’m pretty sure Rom Coms in Iraq suck as much as ours, and since they are now liberated maybe they’ve learned the American art of product placement as well.) Douchebag is a totally original story, not a Rom Com either. It has some great ideas littered in it and the concept/theme is ambitiously sweet without extra sugar. The existential questions you will find you asking yourself I won’t repeat. No one likes a spoil sport. The story takes a lot of natural twists and turns, very much like the weird by-ways and highways the characters find themselves clinging to like so many dead bugs on the windshield.
The main idea I want to get across about this film is that it’s everything that a good independent film should be. It doesn’t pretend to be worth millions of dollars but was shot for nothing. It really was shot for nothing. You know what I mean, those ‘indie’ films that have huge actors in it and some veteran director behind it. Usually those films are considered ‘indie’. Well, not to me. I am old school in using the term indie. I mean Richard Linkletter, early Kevin Smith, or dare I say Jim Jarmusch in the tradition of indie films. This movie gets placed on the same ‘cool shelf’, or should I say Netflix Que.
Andrew Dickler, the main character, was originally a film editor who acts in this film for the first time, and he does a great job! Why or how can he do a great job? He is being honest in who he is, in every regard. His wife to be Marguerite Moreau also does a stellar job and isn’t cliché either. In this day and age who has time for fake or phony performances? Ben York Jones also delivers like a pro. He offers a vulnerable, damaged yet empowered sort of artist who’s at a crossroads with himself and his family.
If I were teaching a class in acting or comedy I would just screen this movie and let the students hack it out on who to play. Is this mumble core? Like the Duplass brothers (The brothers I wasn’t too into except for their last feature ’Cyrus’ which I thought was brilliant). Some say Douchebag the movie is mumble core but I don’t think so; this film is something more and very special in its simplicity. It’s also been compared to “Sideways” (in an abstract sense)by other critics, I will have to agree as well.
I will repeat myself by saying don’t get this flick twisted; it’s not an imitation of anything and its pure, original and organic. Most all of the scenes are taken from Improv between the two ‘brothers’, and you believe it. In nature vs. faketure (I just made that word up), nature wins every time.
The locations really helped the believability. I am a firm believer in not making movies in LA proper, and they really use the rest of Southern California to their advantage.
I will say lastly that the director Drake Doremus is very gifted and I expect to see many more great things coming out him.
This is where to find the film’s kickass, hipster, dope soundtrack by this guy:
The Damn Electric Company (band): The Goddam Electric Bill
Here is a link to the film:
Douchebag the movie website
It will be at the Nuart in West LA on October 8th! So get your tickets while you can! There are other dates and cities coming….so tune in.