(Alliance, 2007) D: Taika Waititi, w/ Loren Horsley, Jemaine Clement. Rating: N; DVD package: N
Outside tragedy, the only dramatic reason for shitting on the downtrodden is to set us up for the turnaround, when the poor schlub steps up and turns golden. Eagle Vs Shark blows it completely, because while the schlub is heavily shat-upon, the gold she grabs is purest dross.
Lily (Loren Horsley), a newly fired fast food clerk with near-zero self-esteem and even worse social skills, sets her sights on Jarrod (Jemaine Clement of TV’s Flight Of The Conchords), an even bigger loser.
Problem is, Jarrod’s not worth having. In romantic comedies, and this film claims to be one, we have to see what the lover sees in the oddball beloved. In Jarrod, there’s nothing to love and everything to flee from. He’s utterly without charm or aspirations and so locked into denial, fear and willed ignorance that well before the halfway point I was hoping Lily would realize she deserves better.
Another essential in romantic comedy is comedy, but unless you get laughs from naturalistic portrayals of painful awkwardness, there isn’t a chuckle in sight, apart from about two minutes of animation sprinkled, to no purpose, here and there.
Horsley and Clement are both decent actors, and Taika Waititi directs with competent, low-budget simplicity. On the commentary, though, both Horsley and Waititi blather blandly through the whole 98 minutes without making a single funny or informative remark. Quite an achievement.
EXTRAS Director and guests commentary, deleted scenes and outtakes, music video. Widescreen. English, Spanish audio. English, French, Spanish subtitles.