Spooner -Review

Posted January 23, 2009 in
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Dir: Drake Doremus

Matthew Lillard (Herman Spooner) and Christopher McDonald (Dad Spooner) reprise their father and son roles with a different dynamic than their first outing in SLC Punk in this So Cal tale of mushy love. If I hadn't seen it at Slamdance I would automatically put it in the chick flick category. The fact it screened at a film festival pushes it into the strange no man's land of indie chick, a whole different sort of sappy movie: the extra earnest kind. You could call this the "growed up" version of Napoleon Dynamite where a hopeless shmuck quasi wins the girl at the end of the film and engenders unnatural "romantic" feelings in its audience. Spooner straddles the fine line between saccharine and genuine.

I thought it was medium to medium rare, if a bit slow paced at times. The performances were all competent. And anyone with sales experience can laugh along as they see their previous boss reincarnated on screen as Spooner's car lot boss encourages higher sales in front of a bar graph. Enjoy the Southern California scenery and the beauty in Spooner's object of affection, the amazingly winsome Nora Zehetner (Brick) as Rose. This woman is amazing and primed for uber stardom, based on that cute little smile alone. I wanted to pop her head off her body but kept my hands to myself at the premier. Thankfully. SLUG doesn't need any more starlet blood on its hands.

I'm sure your tattooed future ex girlfriend will make you watch this movie before your eventual break up leaving you with terrible feelings about the film in general. Until then, enjoy it for what it is: "an odd ball love story" or whatever bullshit they're going to sell this to you as at the indie house this year.

3 out of 5*
Screenings: No more screenings of this film.

-Jon Paxton