Wednesday, May 13, 2009

MY NAME IS JERRY Review

Ah, finally - the long awaited MY NAME IS JERRY review. You crazy Fan-Sapiens have been waiting for this, haven't you?

(And you ARE crazy - don't try to deny it. I troll your message board sometimes.)




I'm happy to report that you won't be disappointed. JERRY is definitely what you had been hoping for: Doug Jones playing a romantic lead in a sweet independent comedy. And the film works. Doug hits just the right tone with his performance. He is melancholy, funny, likeable and most importantly - he creates a character that you want to root for. You want Jerry to get the girl. You pull for Jerry to get the new job. All of these things are integral to the movie succeeding, and Doug pulls it off well.


So, you ask, what is it about?


It is about a man that is lost, and his name is Jerry. Jerry has a mundane job as a salesman and a lonely home life. He is divorced. He is estranged from his daughter. He eats TV dinners at night and turns down invitations to socialize with his co-workers.


But one day, something sets off a spark inside him. Looking for a co-worker's party, Jerry mistakenly goes to the wrong address. Answering the door is Jordan (Katlyn Carlson). She's young and quirky and fun - everything that Jerry is not. As Jerry walks off the doorstep, a slight smile touches his face and the transformation begins.


Soon, he finds himself in a record store, learning about punk music, and making friends half his age. Is it a mid-life crisis? Not really - more like a mid-life awakening. He meets Jordan by chance at a bar where she works and a relationship begins - a relationship that is more of a mystery to Jerry than to Jordan.


The drama begins when Jerry's daughter returns to him after her mother's death. Soon we realize that the mistakes of his past are the biggest obstacle for him to build a new future. To Jerry, it's not only that he doubts his daughter will forgive him - he doubts if he can forgive himself.

Jerry and his daughter have a long overdue conversation



The cast was strong throughout, with Don Stark (That 70's Show) playing Doug's encouraging co-worker, Catherine Hicks (7th Heaven) as Jerry's forgiving boss, and Allison Scagliotti as Jerry's daughter. Especially good was Carlson as Jordan - her character reminds me of that really cute girl in high school that was always nice to me, but I was always too scared to ask her out. Her performance made me want to go back in time and try again.



I suppose the big question you are wondering is this: will this independent film find a distribution deal? I would say unlikely. The film is good, and director Morgan Mead and writer David Hamilton did an wonderful job of telling a story with a lot of heart, but it does fall a little short in some categories. I would have liked to have seen the film probe deeper into the punk rock scene. Also, some of the comedy falls flat at times, especially with Jerry's college-aged buddies. I feel like there was room for more laughs in the film overall. It slows down with the number of dramatic scenes. As it stands, the film is more drama than comedy. I think Mead missed an opportunity to make the film...well...more fun. Still, it is a good film and has some potential to have a cult following on DVD (particularly among the Fan Sapiens out there - you know who you are).


All in all, I would recommend MY NAME IS JERRY to my wife for a cozy night on the couch, and honestly that is a pretty good compliment for any film.

6 comments:

A13X said...

That's *Katlyn* Carlson, for the record. She's only my sister...

Parker said...

Spelling error fixed - my apologies!

kirk said...

Thanks for the review, Parker. I hope I get the opportunity to see it at some point. As the majority of the Doug's work I am familiar with involves him acting through make-up I really want to see our man Jones get to shine on his own merit. I am glad to read that you think he did.

Kusanivy said...

All I can say, as one of the Fan-Sapiens in question is... guilty as charged ;)


But it's a good crazy.

Definitely hoping we at least get to see this on DVD. It looks adorable.

Route 66 Film Festival said...

If you can't wait for the DVD, travel to Springfield, Illinois where MY NAME IS JERRY will be playing at 1:00 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 20 at the Route 66 Film Festival. Check out the schedule at www.route66filmfestival.net.

Anonymous said...

I was at the screening in Muncie. I would have to agree it is lacking in many areas - probably think more so than the review states. I was really rooting for the film, as I am from the city in which it was filmed. But the much-hyped punk aspect is woefully lacking and there was really no solid basis for the relationship between Jerry and the girl. They show them together maybe three times - and then a bartender buys him a car? I think Katlyn by far had the best performance in the film. I'm guessing you'll see a lot more of her in the future. I also think the back story with the daughter was confusing at best at the start of the movie. I suggest a voice over with Doug during the opening explaining more as I realize there is not funding to reshoot. I may have been more disappointed in the film, because of the hype prior, and because I really hoped for the students who helped produce the film that it would be picked up. However, I agree with the reviewer that is doubtful.