Sundance Film Review: Hits

Posted January 24, 2014 in
Share this:Share on Facebook0Tweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+0Pin on Pinterest0
Photo courtesy of: Sabrina Lantos

Sundance Film Festival
Director: David Cross

The notion of instantly becoming a celebrity in America runs rampant, and reality programming and viral videos aren’t helping the situation. In the small town of Liberty, New York, Katelyn Stuben (Meredith Hagner) constantly envisions the interview she’ll have on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” after she wins the next season of “The Voice.” While she dreams of stardom alone in her car, her father, Dave (Matt Walsh), spends his time verbally assaulting Liberty’s city council about the condition of their town to the point of arrest. Don’t even get him started on the potholes. Dave’s outlandish behavior is caught on video and Think Tank, an advocacy group in New York City, decides to support the crusade. While Katelyn spins her wheels on unobtainable aspirations, Dave soon becomes the face of a movement. Veteran comedian David Cross writes and directs his first feature film with a similar style to “Mr. Show with Bob and David” as he loosely connects a variety of characters in different segments to each other. Knowing the no holds barred approach to comedy Cross commonly utilizes in his stand-up career, one would hope he’d bring it to the big screen, but such is not the case. The majority of the film spins its wheels looking for traction on set-ups that never come to fruition. Cross’ representation of New York City hipsters is spot-on with the use of Zipcars, an ironic fondness for patriotic shirts and non-prescription glasses. The majority of solid gags come from hipster trio James Adomian, Derek Waters and Wyatt Cenac as well as David Koechner as the local bigot who hates everything they stand for. All four of them in a diner together is priceless. Cross’ directorial debut treads water for far too much time, but ends with a hilariously raunchy grand finale that represents the grotesque class of comedy we had been hoping would arrive 90 minutes earlier.

– Jimmy Martin

Screening Times: 
Saturday, Jan. 25 — 9:30 p.m. • Peery’s Egyptian Theater, Ogden