'Hickey': Film Review

Seamus Tierney
About as memorable as its title.
1/6/2017

A lovestruck employee tries to save the failing electronics store where he works in Alex Grossman's debut feature.

A nerdy “teen whiz kid” tries to rescue the failing electronic store where he works — and win the heart of the girl of his dreams in the process — in Alex Grossman’s genial debut feature that feels more like a CW sitcom pilot than a big-screen effort. Inoffensive and just clever enough to provide slight comic diversion, Hickey seems to revel in its own modesty.

The central character, Ryan (Troy Doherty), works at a Los Angeles electronics store that has clearly seen better days. As the story begins, Ryan and his fellow employees are informed that this day will be the store’s last, with arrogant young corporate exec Brady (Alex Ashbaugh) arriving to make sure it happens, going so far as to deliberately sabotage its chances of survival for reasons of his own.

Despite having received a full scholarship from MIT, Ryan thinks that he might prefer to stay home and attend UCLA, in part because he’s hopelessly smitten with cute co-worker Carly (Flavia Watson). So he decides to make it his mission to save the store in one day by dramatically raising its sales numbers via such gimmicks as offering free pizza to the clientele of a nearby marijuana dispensary. That’s an example of the film’s broad attempts at humor, which also include a lengthy, not terribly funny scene revolving around an undescended testicle.

The film’s characters include an array of broadly drawn comic types, including a wisecracking, Goth-styled sales clerk (Raychel Diane Weiner) and a physically imposing but hapless security guard (Tommy “Tiny” Lister). Watson is appealing as the spunky heroine, while Doherty only reinforces the film’s general derivativeness of better teen comedies with his resemblance to a young Jason Biggs.

Straining hard for lovability, Hickey (in case you’re wondering, the vague title refers to Ryan’s nickname, the reason for which won’t be revealed here) fails to make much of an impression on any level.

Production: Maxine Street Productions, Nut Bucket Films
Distributor: Gravitas Ventures
Cast: Troy Doherty, Flavia Watson, Raychel Diane Weiner, Zedrick Restauro, Alex Ashbaugh, Ross Mackenzie
Director/screenwriter: Alex Grossman
Producers: Alex Grossman, Lija Sarki
Executive producers: Michael Mackey, Chris Sacca, Josh Woods
Director of photography: Seamus Tierney
Production designer: Chelsea Turner
Editor: Brian Barr
Composer: Gregory Reeves
Casting: Amey Rene Morris
Not rated, 85 minutes

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