Sunday, June 11, 2023

An Evening with Beverly Luff Linn

Movie Name:
An Evening with Beverly Luff Linn
Year of Release: 2018
Director: Jim Hosking
Starring: Aubrey Plaza, Emile Hirsch, Jemaine Clement, Matt Berry, Zach Cherry, Craig Robinson, Jacob Wysocki, Maria Bamford, Michael D. Cohen, Mellanie Hubert, Sky Elobar, John Kerry, Bettina Devin, Kirsten Krieg
Genre: Comedy, Crime
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 5
Watch it on Amazon

Synopsis and Review
"An Evening with Beverly Luff Linn" is director Jim Hosking's sophomore feature directorial effort, following his debut with "The Greasy Strangler". The film follows the story of Lulu Danger, who is a waitress in a coffee shop that is managed by her husband Shane. One evening while watching television she notices an advert for an upcoming live show to be held at the town's hotel fronted by Beverly Luff Linn, whom she has had prior history with. Her husband in the meantime is on a quest of his own, wanting to rob Lulu's brother who has more money than him. He uses his employees to go through with the heist, though his brother in law soon realizes he is the culprit. Adjay hires a drifter by the name of Colin to retrieve the stolen goods. Colin and Lulu somehow find themselves tangled up with each other, while Beverly who is checking in to the hotel, with his assistant Rodney who is clearly in love with him. As Beverly's performance nears, all these characters relationships become clearer, including Lulu's past with Beverly himself.
"An Evening with Beverly Luff Linn" is a film that has a distinct point of view, one that may be filed under the moniker of surrealistic type of humor. And while the humor does appear courtesy of some characters and situations, it truly never goes beyond some situational awkwardness since the characters themselves are barely sketched out during the entire narrative's duration. As the film adds more characters to the narrative, including Colin who suddenly becomes tangled in Lulu's goals, and ultimately becomes her romantic interest, nothing substantial is ever actually revealed about him, aside from some of the awkward situations he's in, the same going for the additional characters who populate this universe (including for instance Rodney, Beverly's interesting assistant). The actors bring a bit of their trademark style and charisma to these characters, which makes the film more watchable, but doesn't necessarily hide the fact that there isn't much substance to what is taking place (even if what is taking place is somewhat absurd). It's ultimately a film where the style and its quirkiness are meant to overcome its narrative shortcomings, but one that sadly lacks in both, impacting the both the humor of the narrative and the distinctiveness of its characters (essentially a bit like a Wes Anderson type of film without the Anderson). Aubrey Plaza, Jemaine Clement, Craig Robinson while compelling and watchable, perform variations of characters they've delivered best in the past, while Emile Hirsch has very little to do. The production team is competent, with highlight going to production designer Jason Kisvarday. It's watchable but forgettable.