Lousy Carter in theaters and digital after 2023 Locarno Film Festival Premiere

“Lousy” is a name given to the film’s lead character, Lousy Carter (David Krumholtz, Oppenheimer, “The Deuce” TV series), a literature professor who has an animated (side) project he has not completed in 13 years. His class focuses entirely on “The Great Gatsby” and is limited to a few students.

As the film opens in a doctor’s office, he is told he has six months to live. He also is seen having consultations with a therapist (Stephen Root, “Office Space”), and it seems to be long-term – not just since his diagnosis. Carter isn’t the most likable individual, but Krumholtz’s performance is engaging as the audience learns about the family history of discord with his mother (Mona Lee Fultz) and sister (Trieste Kelly Dunn, “Banshee” TV series).

Lousy shares his short-term life expectancy with his ex-girlfriend, Candela (Olivia Thirlby). She does not appear to be too sympathetic and then proceeds to suggest having an affair with a student (since he will pass away anyway). Entertaining the idea, he invites the new grad student Gail (Luxy Banner, The Get Together, 2020) to discuss something in his office. Instead, the proposition is to have her participate in the animated short he’s working on based on novelist Vladimir Nabokov’s “Laughter in the Dark.” Banner’s performance is excellent, and I anticipate viewing other works to come (features and short).

Lousy’s best friend and fellow professor, Kaminsky (Martin Starr), and his wife Olivia (Jocelyn DeBoer, Greener Grass) seem to have known each other for a while. Soon, the audience learns how Olivia keeps busy while on “sabbatical” and how Kaminsky has a history of being interviewed on campus by the administration.

When Carter’s mother passes away, his estranged sister comes to the memorial, Gail wants to attend the memorial service, and the friends show up. He also has a former school classmate who attends and tries to connect with, Dick Anthony (Macon Blair, The Toxic Avenger, 2023, Green Room, 2015), among others.

If you have heard of this premise before and think it may end differently, writer/director Bob Byington (RSO: Registered Sex Offender, Harmony, and Me) has written an interesting way to show the audience what Lousy Carter faces. Krumholtz and the rest of the cast do well in their roles in this feature.0

Producers: Bob Byington, Chris McKenna. Executive producers: Stuart Bohart, Tim League.

Crew: Camera: Carmen Hilbert, Lauren Pruitt. Editor: Kris Boustedt. Music: Leafcuts.
Running time: 76 minutes

The film will be released in select Alamo theaters and digitally on March 29, 2024.

Source: Magnolia Pictures

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