Daniel Arnold (left) and Ben Cotton are lively in this adaptation of Morris Panych’s absurdist play.
LAWRENCE & HOLLOMAN (Matthew Kowalchuk). See listing. Rating: NN
Playwright Morris Panych's much-produced absurdist two-hander arrives on the big screen in a handsome if not entirely successful adaptation.
Everything's swell with slick, deliriously happy Vancouver salesman Lawrence (Ben Cotton). But after a brief exchange in an elevator with an ineffectual, geeky clerk named Holloman (Daniel Arnold), the two men's fortunes begin to change.
Lawrence gets dumped by his fiancée (Amy Matysio), loses his dog and gets run over by a car. Holloman, meanwhile, soon replaces his thick glasses with contact lenses and begins chatting up an attractively brooding co-worker (Katharine Isabelle).
It's basically a take on the Book Of Job story, an examination of how people remain optimistic in the face of tragedy.
Director Matthew Kowalchuk's script, co-written with star Arnold, plays with some ideas and then abruptly drops them. The drawn-out denouement is entirely unnecessary, since we've seen one character's fiendish behaviour already.
But the two actors are lively - local theatregoers will recognize Arnold from his plays Any Night and Tuesdays & Sundays - if occasionally too broad.
The film looks beautiful, though, and it's telling that its most memorable moments rely on some surprise special effects.
Opens Friday (August 29) at the Royal. See listing.