Start with two hapless lads, one a defeated actor (Doherty), the other a lush wanna-be writer (Moran); add a stressed-out girlfriend, a shaggy dog and some unfortunate events worthy of Lemony Snicket. Then, with requisite acknowledgments to life’s absurdities, stir in a nod to movies that do the same thing much better and sprinkle in a pair of Irish celebrity cameos to boot. Now sit back and pray that charm and comic timing are enough to distract from what’s essentially an empty screenwriting exercise.
Both a dark ode to the inanity of plot contrivances and a minor sketch unwisely expanded to feature length, Ian Fitzgibbon’s accidental-death drama is nothing more than a gallows-humor lark. The script (by Doherty) kicks off with a bold mix of farce and fatalism that suggests greater twists and deeper themes. But it doesn’t take long to realize that the talent has bitten off more than it can chew, and that any sparks of invention will inevitably give way to a climax that feels a wee bit familiar. Still, here’s to aspiration: For a fleeting moment, this facile dramedy hints at the potential for greater things from all involved.—Stephen Garrett
Opens Fri 1; IFC. Find showtimes