A Film with Me in It


A Film with Me in It’s bound to find a niche audience thanks to the presence of Dylan Moran (who’s sold out the Melbourne International Comedy festival here for the third year in a row), but thankfully is a strong film in its own right.

A black comedy that seems to have been made on a tiny budget, this is a great example of how an incredibly complex series of events can be turned into something effortlessly amusing. Mark (Mark Doherty) is an out of work actor whose long-term relationship’s on the rocks and who can’t find enough cash to pay the landlord.A Film with Me in It He spends his time going to auditions, looking after his paralysed brother David (David O’Doherty) and hanging out with his good friend Pierce (Moran). Pierce is living in the same state of poverty but seems to have lofty aspirations as a director and is always ‘working’ on his screenplay without ever actually writing the damn thing.

Pierce is pretty much the same as all of Moran’s other characters – a grumpy, unkempt drunk – though this reoccurrence has yet to bother me. Thankfully this is the kind of film where the escalating events take precedence over character. It’s most definitely a black comedy, part of the sub-genre that I like to refer to as ‘dead body’ movies. Things start out a little awkward – the opening scenes definitely couldn’t be described as slick – but once things get going this film buzzes along like a arthritic bee that’s finally managed to get some movement back into its joints*.

It’s the kind of film that would frustrate many – things just keep going wrong for poor Mark and Pierce, and they seem incapable of stopping events from snowballing. What’s impressive is that it all seems… well, not realistic… but it follows its own logic quite convincingly, even considering how crazed proceedings become.

Doherty himself penned the script some time ago, and it’s clearly a concept that was close to his heart. As I said before, there’s nothing too flashy about the film. It’s mostly set in the same apartment, and it has a very dingy look to it – but it works perfectly.

It’s a pity that the first twenty minutes are so lacklustre, because this film is almost fantastic. More than once it gets stuck, struggling to maintain momentum. In the long run, however, it’s definitely worth it. If you like your comedies dark, and don’t mind watching things go wrong time and time again for the unlucky characters, then A Film with Me in It is for you.

Rating: 3.5 stars
Review by Stuart Wilson, 22nd April 2009
Hoopla Factor: 4 stars

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