Coming to theatres from director/writer Todd Skylar, Alex Rennie and Range Life Entertainment comes a film that is simply AWFUL NICE.
This film tells the story of Jim (James Pumphrey), a college professor who is doing everything responsible in life. Then there is brother Dave (Alex Rennie), a reckless drifter who sees life as one big whatever.
When their father dies, Jim goes to South Dakota to find his naked brother in a teepee to retrieve him back for the funeral. There’s one problem, Dave has every excuse under the sun not to go. After a bribe of cash, the two brothers attend their father’s funeral together and immediately revert to their childhood ways.
Bickering, bantering, insulting and annoying one another sends everyone’s nerves on edge. Jim gets his fathers will to discover that both bothers have been given a lake house in Branson, Missouri. They can sell it and split the money. Instead of Dave just getting with the program he wants to go with Jim to Branson to handle things.
Arriving after a harrowing cross-country car ride together, they discover the house is not in the shape they remember from their youth. It is going to need to be fixed up if they are to sell it. That’s when more chaos than two brothers should be allowed comes into play with smoking results.
These two brothers sure know how to hold grudges!
FINAL WORD: Pumphrey as the older brother Jim carries the heaviest of weights. There is something to be said about being the older siblings and the responsibilities that go far into adulthood. Being the ‘first’ at everything – graduating, college, marriage, children can be an incredible strain. With Jim it seems to be the case with also adding always doing the responsible thing. I found it interesting that he tells younger brother Dave to ‘man up!’ about life when he should take his own advice.
His portrayal of Jim brings such amazing laughs as he slowly allows himself to go back into younger-year. The umbrella bit is priceless and Pumphrey has the uncanny ability to be that kid while maintaining the façade of being the adult of the two. Well played sir!
Rennie as Dave is just one big emotional train wreck! From the teepee to his obsession with the hockey card to his bad life choices he’s a miracle he’s made it this far into life. There is tons of immaturity in this character but at the same time big bro was so busy being the ‘first’ at everything in the family it kind of left Dave in the dust.
So endeth the psychology lesson for the day, as Rennie is just masterful in delivering this character hook, line and sinker to the audience. Yes, he may be irresponsible and yes he may be a bit of a nut job – but one thing he didn’t forget to do that big bro did and that was stop and smell the roses!
Yea, they are mirrors of one another and nothing makes brothers crazier than realizing that the DNA apples not only don’t fall far from the tree – sometimes they land so close to one another you can’t tell where one ends and the other begins.
With the main characters being Dave and Jim it can be easy to forget that they are supported by others and in this film there are LOADS of others. From Mom to Uncle to Dad’s business partner to crazy Russians it is a cast of wonderful players who bring a uniqueness to the film that is pure excellence and great fun.
Other cast include: Zahn McClarnon as Romulus, Dominic Dierkes as Yven, D.C. Pierson as Sven, Josh Fadem as Deputy Bruce, Jon Gabrus as Klaus, Kerry Barker as Svetlana, Brett Prentiss as Uncle Mitch, Cheryl Black as Mom, Hari Leigh as Michelle, Laura Ramsey as Lauren, Christopher Meloni as Jon Charbineau, Henry Zebrowski as Jasper, Keeley Hazell as Petra, Brett Gelman as Ivan, Yakov Smirnoff and Jay Osmond as themselves!
TUBS OF POPCORN: I give AWFUL NICE three and a half tubs of popcorn out of five. There is one very good reason for this…because I have witnessed this all before but never actually stood back to find the comedy in it. Having two sons very close in age, when growing up it was totally aggravating to listen to them go at it.
This film is absolutely hilarious, I mean I started with giggles and ended up laughing like crazy. The trip scene has me laughing the hardest and any parent who has been on a road trip with their kids will see the comedy in it.
But, the heartwarming part of this film is that none of the brotherly mess was done with vindictiveness. How can I say this? Because I come from a large family and a big brother who would ‘torture’ me mercilessly. Yes, I use the dreaded quotation marks because it was not torture at all but a brother showing his twisted affection for his sister. It’s hard for anyone to appreciate that in 2014 since everything is either a bullying thing, a hate crime or abuse. Ahhhhhh how I miss 1967 and my brother putting his finger near my face with the chanting of “I’m not touching you!”
So thanks for the memories, it’s been AWFUL NICE – in theatres this Friday!
In the end – Jim and Dave are brothers but not by choice!