‘An Evening with Beverly Luff Linn’ a night to forget

by Joe Jarosz on October 19, 2018

in Print Reviews,Reviews

[Rock Fist Way Down]

Guys, An Evening with Beverly Luff Linn was horrible.

I’m not going to bury the lead with this one. Often times, these absurdist comedies are hit or miss with me. I either love them or I hate that so much of my precious life was wasted on them. This movie is an example of the latter. I think director Jim Hosking (The Greasy Strangler) tried to make a Raising Arizona/Napoleon Dynamite type movie, but doesn’t come close.

And the film, which premiered at Sundance earlier this year, has a great cast, too. It’s hard to put Aubrey Plaza, Emile Hirsch, Jemaine Clement, and Craig Robinson together and not churn out some kind of comedy gold. Of those four, I think Emile Hirsch tried the hardest to turn something out of nothing, which is saying a lot. I don’t know exactly what he’s going for, but he seems to do a weird Justin Timberlake impression. Maybe Hosking tried to get the real thing and couldn’t, so he told Hirsch to just do what Timberlake would do. Craig Robinson just grunts the whole movie. It’s kind of amusing at first, but then when you realize that’s all he does, the novelty wears off quickly. I know Aubrey Plaza’s shtick is to look cold and like she doesn’t care about anything, but give a little emotion!

Aubrey Plaza stars as Lulu Danger, a woman in an unsatisfying marriage whose life takes a turn for the worse when a mysterious man from her past (Craig Robinson) comes to town to perform an event called “An Evening With Beverly Luff Linn; For One Magical Night Only.” After a murder attempt on Lulu’s husband Shane (Emile Hirsch) goes wrong, Lulu runs off with the hitman, Colin (Jermaine Clement). However, they don’t go far. They stay at the hotel featuring Beverly Luff Linn … which is in the town they both live in.

Then there are comedy bits performed, probably because the director or someone thought they were funny, but they’re not. Twice, not once, but twice, two completely different characters get into coughing fits that last at least a minute long. Is coughing funny now? Did I miss that memo? Also, characters yell, for no apparent reason. It’s grating and annoying. The worst bit though, and the saddest, is Clement’s character Colin occasionally goes on long diatribes about his upbringing. The stories aren’t funny. And I’m not saying that because I didn’t laugh. They’re serious stories that don’t fit into the scene and the gag, every time, is his quip to the other person’s reaction of his story.

By the third act, I was only watching to see what the payoff would be, and, not surprising, it was weak and made me even angrier that I wasted my time with this movie. An Evening with Beverly Luff Linn is 100 minutes of jokes without punchlines. Please, go watch something else that’s funny that involves any of this talented cast. It’s in select theaters  and on VOD today.

Joe Jarosz is a Midwest boy now living in California.

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