Lumpy: Hamptons Review
Hamptons International Film Festival, World Cinema: Narrative
Justin Long, Jessica Weixler, Tyler Labine, Addison Timlin, Frances O'Connor, Evan Jones, Shelley Long, Michael Landes
Ted Koland's debut follows two newlyweds unearthing secrets about their dead best man.
THE HAMPTONS, NEW YORK — The life of the party dies abruptly in Ted Koland's Lumpy, which follows newlyweds Scott and Kristin (Justin Long and Jess Weixler) as they discover how little they knew about Scott's recently-departed best man. Unambitious but companionably diverting, Koland's debut feature's prospects benefit from the presence of Long, whose performance will please fans despite being less cute than they may expect.
Tyler Labine, a bright spot in recent indies including Tucker and Dale vs Evil, doesn't get enough screen time as the title character -- an understandable slight, given that he dies shortly after the title sequence, in which the bearish bon vivant drinks an astounding amount at his friends' Arizona wedding, offends nearly everyone, and winds up dead in a cactus field.
Deciding he has to postpone the honeymoon to arrange his friend's Minneapolis funeral (a choice that doesn't bring out the best in his tightly wound bride), Scott sets out to notify friends and finds one name on Lumpy's phone he doesn't recognize: Ramsey (Addison Timlin), a 15 year-old girl in a troubled home upstate, proves to know Lumpy much better than his best friend does.
Scenes focused on Scott and Kristin's search for this girl, and of their dealing with awkward condolences from family members, prove much less interesting than flashbacks of Ramsey meeting and befriending Lumpy. The exact nature of their relationship is a matter of some controversy in the film, but its origins -- with Lumpy representing not drunken buffoonery to Ramsey, as he does to others, but a sympathetic ear from beyond her provincial world -- are shown with tenderness and modest charm. Timlin is convincing as a girl too smart for her environs (though having the 21 year-old play 15 is a stretch), and does more to ground the film than her better-known costars.
Production Company: Koda Entertainment
Cast: Justin Long, Jessica Weixler, Tyler Labine, Addison Timlin, Frances O'Connor, Evan Jones, Shelley Long, Michael Landes
Director-Screenwriter: Ted Koland
Producers: David Abbitt, Sharyn Steele, Jen Roskind
Executive producers: Bobby Sanders, Donny Sanders, Scott Hill, John Hood, Christopher Colbert, Jeff Donald, Tricia Wood, Deborah Aquila
Director of photography: Seamus Tierney
Production designer: Jade Healy
Music: Mateo Messina
Costume designer: Kiersten Ronning
Editor: Grant Myers
Sales: Kevin Iwashina, Preferred Content
No rating, 89 minutes