IT’S A DISASTER (Todd Berger). 89 minutes. Opens Friday (April 19). For venues and times, see Movies. Rating: NN
The first in an upcoming spate of apocalypse satires, It's A Disaster at least has the novelty of landing early, well ahead of this summer's Rapture-Palooza, This Is The End and The World's End. On the other hand, it's reaching theatres just days after the Boston Marathon bombing.
In writer/director Todd Berger's domestic farce, the Sunday brunch date of four Los Angeles couples gets more than a little awkward when news breaks of a dirty bomb attack downtown. As the air fills with unknown toxins, they duct-tape themselves inside the house only to realize that their various issues are trapped inside with them.
A Buñuelian remake of the post-9/11 thriller Right At Your Door could be a great idea - The Slow Decay Of The Bourgeoisie, maybe? - but Berger can't deliver on the promise of his premise. It's one thing to make a movie about small-minded, petty characters, but when the movie is small-minded and petty, too, there's nothing to give us a rooting interest.
Fond as I am of David Cross, Julia Stiles, America Ferrera and Children's Hospital's Erinn Hayes, watching them struggle to animate Berger's dialogue is no fun at all. After the halfway point, when the horror literally lands on the doorstep and the characters go on behaving like self-absorbed dicks, I just didn't care if they lived or died.