THE RISE AND FALL OF THE GRUMPY BURGER (D: Matt Gallagher, Canada). 85 minutes. Sunday (April 20), 7 pm, Royal; Wednesday (April 23), 11:55 pm, Bloor. Rating: NN
What happens when a documentarian knows his movie is going nowhere but can't bring himself to cut his losses and walk away? That question becomes awfully relevant here. Documentarian Matt Gallagher follows his childhood friend Marshall Sfalcin, a Windsor-based director of cheesy schlock spoofs, as Sfalcin tries to turn his family's history in the fast-food business into a serious drama.
Imagine a Canadian riff on Chris Smith's American Movie, only without the entertainment value of a clueless hack comporting himself like an auteur. Sfalcin is revealed as a whiny drip, and all Gallagher can do is stand helplessly by as his subject's movie slowly disintegrates, taking his own project with it.