Thursday, 28 December 2017

Brigsby Bear

The year is nearly over, and so far I don't think that I have a quirky indie comedy to add to my top ten list. This is disappointing, and I hoped that Brigsby Bear might be the one that I was looking for. It was popular at Sundance and seemed to have the kind of ingredients that would make it work for me.

Alas, it is not destined for my list. It was watchable and certainly quirky, but there were too many things that didn’t quite work. Kyle Mooney (who wrote, directed and played the lead role) did a fine enough job of acting a challenging part and Greg Kinnear did well as Det. Vogel. I’m not sure that any of the parental or therapy roles were handled well, but it’s hard to know whether that was the writing or the acting – neither seemed strong for these roles.

There’s a fair amount of creativity happening, but the quirky comedy didn’t hit the right notes to take off or become quotable. Perhaps those who would appreciate the parody of terrible 80s children’s TV (think Care Bears, etc.) would get the most enjoyment from this. 

The positivity is a little over the top - in the spirit of a good children's show, I guess. An overflowing teen party with all the stereotyped drugs, drinking and making out is depicted as a sweet and caring place to make some new friends. And I’ll avoid spoilers by simply saying that the attitudes late in the film toward the characters played by Mark Hamill and Jane Adams borders on the irresponsible.

If you’re hungry for light and odd comedy, you might give it a go, but I can’t quite lift my mug off the table - **+

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