INDIEWATCH: ‘Somebody’ a deadpan look at immortality
“Somebody Up There Likes Me” plays out like a modern-day, indie fable.
It follows Max (Keith Poulson) for 35 years as he stays as young as his first scene thanks to a magical suitcase that spews age-defying, glittery light.
And what does a man with a fountain of youth do with his power?
He steals flowers from a cemetery plot, loses staring matches with kids and marries his co-worker Lyla (Jessica Weixler) who is later wooed by Max’s bestie, Sal (Nick Offerman).
Yes, “Somebody” is a little absurd, but there lies a glimmer of charm in its characters.
Max is an antihero with unlimited, misguided power in his magical suitcase. Sal is a hard-nosed bear of a man, and Lyla is unassuming and slightly adorable.
Poulson’s straight-faced and monotone style is perfect for his character, and writer/director Bob Byington hams up Offerman’s deadpan delivery to a tee so well that it feels like Ron Swanson, of NBC’s “Parks and Recreation,” is on screen.
Poulson and Offerman’s banter throughout is witty, dry and seemingly improvised, and Offerman’s real-life wife, Megan Mullally, has a small and hilarious role as Max’s marriage counselor in a bad wig.
These characters had me laughing out loud in the first 10 minutes in their oddball interactions, but one downfall is the charm of Max’s unsympathetic disposition wears off about halfway through.
He’s unfazed by birth, divorce or death, and his sardonic approach to life gets a bit stale — even for him.
“Somebody Up There Likes Me” is definitely not for everyone. It’s a comical ride, but unlike its main character, this film gets old after the first 30 minutes.
Available: Amazon Prime, Netflix Instant.
IndieWatch is a weekly review of independent film and documentaries.
Lavine is Accent Editor. Call her at (701) 780-1265, (800) 477-6572 ext. 1265 or send email to firstname.lastname@example.org, read her blog at reeltalk.areavoices.com or follow her on Twitter at @AccentEditorGF.