By Mark Saldana 

Rating: 1.5 (Out of 4 Stars)

My Austin Film Festival got off to a funky start with their opening night film that often left me exasperated and baffled.  I had initially planned to give this film a higher rating as it did occasionally make me laugh; however, I came to the conclusion that most of these laughs came from how laughably bad this film is executed. What bewilders me even more is that the script by Sigurd Ueland was a 2010 AFF Comedy Semifinalist. In an attempt to be fair, the potential for a hilariously dark farce is there, but the script and well, the rest of the film needs to be completely made over.

Eddie Jemison (Ocean’s 11, 12, 13) stars as Henry Wood, a corporate vice president at the company his family built. When the acting president of the company (Robert Forster) is found dead of an apparent suicide just prior to a major deal, Henry, with the help of a sweet and lovely temp (Noreen DeWulf) attempt to save the company and salvage the deal by covering up the death.

Director Nathan Marshall and his cast fail in their attempts to salvage this troubled script that has loads of terrible jokes. Marshall makes some bizarre and baffling directorial choices which did have me laughing at their absurdity. Needless to say, I was very disappointed that the Austin Film Festival chose this dud of a comedy for their opening night film.  Knowing that it was a dark comedy, I had hoped that it would be a film like one of last year’s comedic entries, the hilarious and sharply written, It’s a Disaster. Sadly this film comes nowhere near that film’s brilliance.

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