More noise than signal

Harmony and Me

This review has been ‘repurposed’ from my other site, theOneliner.com

Do you know what’s useful for a comedy? Being funny. This isn’t. There’s not an awful lot more to say, really.

Oh, well, okay. Seeing as I’m here. We join Harmony (Justin Rice) having just broken up from his idolised girlfriend Jessica (Kristen Tucker) and having a good old wallow in misery and self-pity. Which is fair enough, but his insistence on continually telling his friends, family and by proxy, us, soon grows rather annoying.

I say soon here in the sense of meaning almost instantly, by the way. Said family members and friends typically show his grief very little in the way of respect, although still being far more tolerant of his endless, pitiful whining than anyone ought to be.

The plot, such as it is, follows Harmony around for a while as he trudges heartbroken through his work life with oddball colleagues, his discussions with his piano teacher and other friends and talks with an overbearing neighbour that, even in a film packed to the gunwales with irritation manages to standout in that aspect.

I’d assumed that this was entirely or largely improvised, although there’s nothing to back that up in the press literature I’ve seen so far. I say this largely because there’s more than one occasion where both actors on screen look like frightened and confused rabbits caught in headlights, neither seeming to know where their conversations are supposed to be headed.

Turns out, invariably, it’s heading in the exact opposite direction from funny. Justin Rice plays his pathetic loser character as exactly that, a pathetic, whining, deeply unlikable loser, one so god-damned annoying that on the, I believe, three lines in this 75 minute film that were genuinely quite funny I refused to laugh at them on the basis that it would only be encouraging it.

Once again, the Under the Radar section of the festival proves that most of those selected were staying so firmly under the radar because they’re bloody terrible – c.f The Third Pint and Crack Willow from last years selection, two films that turned out the be the worst films I’d seen that entire year, a category to which this travesty can now be added.

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