Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Review: Highball (1997)

Baumb- no, er, Ernie Fusco's Post-College Years.

A couple throws three uncomfortable parties on different dates in their cramped New York apartment and an astonishing amount of hilarity ensues. Cribbing from Whit Stillman does have its perks, it turns out, and not only can you prove yourself as a near-equal with quickly realized characters and tight rapid fire Beatles-level jokes, but you can actually end the movie with the most amount of accrued character dignity than anything you'll make in the future. Even with Carlos Jacott playing against type and Chris Eigeman playing exactly on type. The magic performed here cannot be undersold as it exists exclusively in writing and acting and was probably filmed secretly around the production of Mr. Jealousy (in only six days?!), explaining Noah Baumbach's name in the acting credit only. It exists nowhere in the cinematography, certainly -- the first sacrifice to the Gods of Completion demanded that only one incredibly hot light be used at any given time. The last sacrifice had to be its DVD release, the strangest media artifact ever, where the title of the film is upside-down on its spine, where a 'synopsis' counts as a special feature, where there is no artwork on its disc, where the film itself skips backwards two seconds with no interruption in the audio no less than five times. Highball still survives. It's the Primer of comedies.

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