An exhausting follow-up to the also exhausting The Greasy Strangler, An Evening With Beverly Luff Linn burns out on creativity (and it seems, our patience) within half an hour. Across both films, Jim Hosking clearly has an eye for conjuring up lush and absurd imagery, but while there’s really great work that goes into the soundtrack, costume and production design, it’s not nearly enough to save this overlong Mighty Boosh sketch of a film.
Announcing itself suddenly and loudly with synths from one half of the group Fuck Buttons, the film has surreal gags to spare from the get-go, with lines that are strangely quotable and obsessions about cappuccinos that look foamier than anything you’ve ever seen at a Pret A Manger. But its bizarre schtick wears thin fast, even with comedic performers as talented as Aubrey Plaza (and Jemaine Clement, Matt Berry… the list goes on). While it’s not the case that comedy must have some deeper meaning, Hosking’s strange, juvenile dialogue becomes a constant barrage of vacuous noise. It doesn’t help that it’s an aimless 2 hour slog, building to a conclusion that, while featuring the funniest moment in the film, doesn’t feel worth it.
While some of the cast have a better handle on Hosking’s dialogue than others, no one gets as bad a rap as Speed Racer’s Emile Hirsch (looking uncannily like Jack Black), whose cartoonish mugging gets old fast. The potential of each character is squandered, all matching the same tone and playing away from each performers’ strengths without being excitingly subversive. Someone behind the scenes decided to silence Craig Robinson for the duration of the film’s run time.
While the mere presence of a heart makes it more watchable than The Greasy Strangler, An Evening With Beverly Luff Linn unfortunately feels like a chore. One of the points in this rating is just for Matt Berry playing the lute.
CAST: Aubrey Plaza, Emile Hirsch, Jemaine Clement, Matt Berry, Craig Robinson
DIRECTOR: Jim Hosking
WRITERS: Jim Hosking, David Wike
SYNOPSIS: After getting fired by her scheming husband Shane Danger from his cappuccino shop, dissatisfied Lulu Danger is stunned when a TV commercial for “An Evening With Beverly Luff Linn For One Magical Night Only” reveals a mysterious man from her past.[TRAILER FORTHCOMING]