SHUT UP AND SING (Bruce Leddy) Rating: NN NNNNN
You've got to be pretty ballsy - or stupid - to launch a film festival the same week as TIFF.
RebelFest is both. The grassroots fest is devoted to works (shorts, features and music videos) that have received no government funds or help through Hollywood-friendly film institutes.
Love the concept. Too bad this feature, one of 10, isn't stronger.
Written, directed and produced by Mad TV producer Bruce Leddy, Shut Up And Sing is a smug comedy drama about a group of guys who sang in an a cappella group in college and reunite 15 years later when one of them's about to get married.
The singing set-up is really an excuse for a series of jokes about receding hairlines and bad marriages, all delivered in a sprawling house in the Hamptons. It's here that the guys (not one of them has love handles, strangely enough), accompanied by their wives, girlfriends and nannies, get to rehearse before the nuptials and whine about their lives.
Call it The Small Chill. The film's got a slick surface with absolutely nothing beneath it. The actors, who include SNL alum Molly Shannon, are professional enough to sell their cheesy lines - even a maudlin climax - but it's hard to feel anything for characters who have no depth. (September 10, Innis Town Hall)