A Film With Me In It -- Film Review

Benjamin Walker
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NEW YORK - OCTOBER 13:  Actor Benjamin Walker attends the "Bloody Bloody Jackson" opening night after party at Brasserie 8 1/2 on October 13, 2010 in New York City.

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EDINBURGH -- The bodies keep piling up and so do the laughs in Irish director Ian Fitzgibbon's clever and very funny black farce "A Film With Me In It." With an attitude towards sudden death as droll as in the best Ealing Studios comedies, the film lampoons the fevered imagination of screenwriters in its tale of two would-be filmmakers who must deal with one calamity after another in the confines of a basement apartment.

Featuring standout comic performances by Mark Doherty, who wrote the script, and Dylan Moran, the picture's bracingly dark sense of humor and adherence to its own perverse logic will please audiences that enjoyed such comedies as "Withnail and I" and "A Fish Called Wanda."

Doherty plays Mark, a sad-sack actor whose chance of landing even the bit part of "Onlooker" in his latest audition is remote. Moran is his best friend Pierce, a wastrel who spends his time at the pub and his money on the horses as he dreams up hackneyed screenplays.
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Mark lives with his quadriplegic brother David (David O'Doherty), pretty girlfriend Sally (Amy Huberman) and her indolent pet dog Jersey. Their place is filled with broken things such as window sashes and lighting fixtures that landlord Jack (Kevin Allen) refuses to fix until the rent is paid.

Sally storms out after discovering that Mark hasn't paid the rent in three months. He senses things may get worse when a shelving unit collapses and kills her dog. Then when a heavy chandelier crashes down from the ceiling with even more unpleasant results, he's sure of it.

Doherty's script is sly and increasingly hilarious as nitwits Mark and Pierce deal with an escalating number of dead people and conspire to dream up madly unreasonable explanations they think might sound plausible to the police.

Moran gets the slightly fractured speech borne of an alcohol soaked brain exactly right while Doherty captures Marks bewilderment perfectly. Director Fitzgibbon hits all the right notes with comic finesse as the film heads towards its pleasingly delirious conclusion.

Festival de Cannes -- Market

Production: Parallel Films in association with the Irish Film Board
Cast: Dylan Moran, Mark Doherty, Amy Huberman, Aisling O'Sullivan, Kevin Allen, David O'Doherty
Director: Ian Fitzgibbon
Screenwriter: Mark Doherty
Producers: Alan Moloney, Susan Mullen
Executive producer: Mary Callery
Director of photography: Seamus Deasy
Production designer: Eleanor Wood
Music: Denis Woods
Costume designer: Maeve Paterson
Editor: Tony Cranstoun
Sales Agent: Cinetic Media

No MPAA rating, 88 minutes