Hey gang, Valkor here. This next vid that’s about to get put up on the TOV chopping block, was one that I chose at random from the MediaView pile – and thank goodness it’s a comedy! I didn’t read the box, didn’t look up any synopsis; I simply dove head first into this one. And after sitting through “Awful Nice”… I felt it wasn’t all that funny, but still something special in its own right.
Awful Nice centers on brothers Jim (James Pumphrey) and Dave (Alex Rennie); Jim is the straight arrow, married his college girlfriend, makes somewhat of a decent living, and he has a kid – he’s the responsible one. Then there’s Dave whose more of a lazy, slacker, playful moocher… there’s something not quite right about that boy, I’ll tell ya wut. Anyways, Jim sets out looking for Dave, whom he finds living in an Indian Teepee… naked. And he’s there to bring him news of their father’s passing as well as bring him back for the funeral. Dave isn’t too keen about going back at first, but after being persuaded with cash, then he’s all in. It’s during the funeral that Dave learns (through Jim) that their father left them the family’s lakehouse. Jim tells Dave that once he signs the papers, he’ll go to Branson, MI, sell the house through their father’s business partner Mr. Charbineau (Christopher Meloni), and they’ll split the profits from the sale 50-50. Dave doesn’t trust his brother all that much and wants in on the trip to insure he gets his share of the loot. And thus a road trip to Branson ensues.
When they arrive at the house, they discover it’s been beat to shit. Dave convinces Jim that rather than use Charbineau’s guys to fix up the place, they can do this last brotherly act and work on the house together. Now it’s Jim who’s the hesitant one as he wants to return to his “normal” life. But after much prodding, he agrees with Dave and the two proceed in some way or another fix up the place. And in between the repairs, the two get into a lot of fights – either between themselves or with others, as well as get involved in other shenanigans. But it isn’t about the house, it’s about the two reconnecting, reforging a bond they once had when they were young. Can it be done? Of course! And the link for these two brothers coming together and putting their difference behind them? It’s the lakehouse.
Chris Meloni (Green Lantern, Man of Steel) gets top billing with this one, which is funny because he’s barely in it. But a film like this needs a hook if it’s gonna move units and having his name on the cover will definitely help. And after watching this flick, I kinda wanna visit Branson. It looks to have some nice scenery out that way.
Awful Nice is just that – a nice film. It’s not outrageously funny, though it features tons of slapstick. But it’s not the kind of slapstick that will have you “holding your sides”. The film is more about the two brothers connecting and that it does quite well as the chemistry between Pumphrey’s Jim and Rennie’s Dave is solid and it feels real. They do things to each other or they get mixed up in some sort of shenanigans, you can’t help but smile. Believe me, after watching this one I started reminscing growing up with my bro and sis and reliving all those wacky moments and shenanigans we got into. The plot is simple, the pacing is well balanced and the laughs… well the story is nice and the pacing is good. The acting is exceptional, again pointing fingers at Pumphrey and Rennie, whose performances were amazing. And as for Meloni… he was good for a chuckle based on his appearance (that wig and those glasses), but he could have played it straight minus the gimmicks. In the end, Awful Nice is a story that one can truly appreciate on so many levels – even if you didn’t have a sibling, if you have a friend you considered a sib then you can get a handle on this one.
I didn’t find most of the jokes all that funny. Again it’s a nice film that’s good if you wanna bond, but the laughs were minimal.
Awful Nice DVD gets a release on May 6th and it’s a pretty good film that, to me, is short on laughs but big on heart. Either way it’s a solid film definitely worth checking out. And out of TOV 5 stars, Awful Nice gets a 4. Branson, here I come!