From there, the film’s
attempts at satire fall embarrassingly flat, leaving plot hole after plot hole wide open. Perhaps some divine intervention was required, because the film runs a mere 80 minutes, 11 of which are for the credits, more than five of which are just to slooooowly list the extras.
Joseph Cross (“Milk”) is Philip, a young ad copywriter struggling with a commercial involving a talking gerbil selling claw chowder. Under stress — and that’s even before his dad commits suicide and news hits that the sun will collapse within six months — his eyes bleed during church service, prompting everyone to think he’s the chosen one sent to save us all. Or at least local news reporter (Heather Graham, “The Hangover”) does, and somehow, she has the power to whisk him away to an exclusive hotel, where he’s kept under lock and key, and where Edward Herrmann (TV’s “Gilmore Girls”) is on hand to do his bidding.
News coverage reaches a frenzied pitch; his mom (Lorraine Bracco, TV’s “The Sopranos”) is hounded by talent scouts, yet is denied access to her own son; and Philip just uses his celebrity to get laid. Wouldn’t you? That’s partly why none of the satire really qualifies as such: It has no wicked sting, evidenced by having Bracco fall into a pool for no good reason at all. This movie goes nowhere.
Written and directed by Yaniv Raz — Graham refers to him in her interview on the disc as “an actor”; he played “Student” and “Excited Student” on an episode of “The District” and “Power Rangers Wild Force,” respectively — treats his own material as a millennial “Being There.” Raz’s idea of an ending is to have Philip tell a TV audience that he can’t tell them what the clam chowder tastes like, then walks into the ocean, as if that’s some kind of Bold, Emotional Statement.
I’ll give Raz points only for having good taste in his soundtrack — The Mae Shi, Cold War Kids, Army of Freshmen, The Airborne Toxic Event — but nothing else. Other than that, I loathed his debut so much, I wished blood to pour from my eyes, too. A trip to the ER would be a welcome respite. —Rod Lott