Awful Nice


Road trips and dysfunctional families are popular themes when it comes to comedy and this second feature from director Todd Sklar brings them together: Following the death of their father, two estranged brothers must travel together to a summer home they inherited and end up spending extra time fixing it.

Whenever attending a festival, I usually try to catch some low-budget indie and most of the times, I get disappointed. Awful Nice certainly wasn’t the exception and I’m not sure I watched the same movie as the person who wrote it was “cleverly written” in the film’s description.

Right from the beginning, Awful Nice set the tone, offering a ridiculous fight scene at the family table.  From there, I followed their adventure, experiencing exasperation rather than laughs.  I was particularly annoyed by the silly brother who’s supposed to be the comedic device here. Whether listening to him talking nonsense or watching him do random things such as eating food from a trash, I was never amused and I’m suspecting that this character might try to awkwardly channel Paul Rudd’s persona. As for the jokes, they were pretty uninspired and clichéd – for example, one of the brothers break a door to enter while the other one finds the key under the mat, a gag which you probably already saw a dozen times in 80’s buddy/cop movies.

While the script was pretty mediocre, the acting and direction were however pretty decent and, at least, I never felt like I was watching an amateur production, like it’s often the case with some indie films. Still, this unfortunately wasn’t enough to make the whole thing bearable for me.

Director: Todd Sklar – Actors: Alex Rennie, James Pumphrey – Running Time: 1:33 – Year: 2013 – Country: USA

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Fred Thom

Fred Thom

Editor-in-Chief/Founder/Film Critic at Plume Noire
The founder and editor-in-chief of Plume Noire, Fred Thom covers film festivals and writes movie reviews. He was born in Marseilles, France and is now living in Los Angeles, California.