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My Big Fat Independent Movie
DVD disk
02.10.2006 By: Jason Coleman
My Big Fat Independent Movie order
Philip Zlotorynski

Paget Brewster
Neil Barton
Eric Hoffman


star Printer-Friendly version
A spoof on all films independent, from PULP FICTION to THE GOOD GIRL, from MEMENTO to MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING, every indie film in recent history is up to be goofed on.
Painful. This is the only word that can sum up this horrible mess of a film called MY BIG FAT INDEPENDENT MOVIE. And is it just me or aren’t spoofs supposed to actually be funny? The box states that this one follows the great traditions of films like SCARY MOVIE, AIRPLANE, and NOT ANOTHER TEEN MOVIE, well this one makes those look like Oscar winners. The subject of filmmaking itself has already been given that great comical touch with flicks like LIVING IN OBLIVION and THE BIG PICTURE. Good writing is what’s key to successfully pulling off funny spoof and is the heart of why this film is so bad. It’s sad because one of the writers is Chris Gore, a staple of Film Threat Magazine and the former host of IFC’s Ultimate Film Fanatic. I only mention this because Gore, who has had a heavy hand in the independent film scene for so many years, has absolutely no excuse for this shoddy script. Both writers, the second being Adam Schwartz, obviously know which films to use, but instead of creating comical situations, they mostly have the actors state obvious clichés that are going on and the result is unfunny and stale. (What happened to sight gags and visual comedy?) It’s like hearing a movie review around the water cooler, only it’s being told by a guy who can’t get to the meat of the story and he has zero personality. There is also no style or decent direction in the film, so I think Zlotorynski (the “director” of this fiasco!) is a made up name. (Like a foreign Alan Smithee!) And by the way, when the film is a comedy, and you don’t laugh once, is it still considered a comedy?

As far as the actors go, it almost seems unfair to bash them when they have material that even Laurence Olivier couldn’t save. These are actors who bear a slight resemblance to the indie characters they’re spoofing; only they’re like the B versions. Correction, make that the D versions. When the major star power touted on the DVD cover are actors Clint Howard, who shows up for less than a minute as the Mechanic, (a weak spoof on Harvey Keitel’s Wolf character from PULP FICTION), and Jason Mewes, who voices a foul-mouthed answering machine (what a difference that Kevin Smith dialogue makes!), you know the flick is in trouble. Even blowing up both Pete Jones (the first Project Greenlight winner) and Pauly Shore can’t save this mess. (And why would the great Bob Odenkirk of Mr. Show grace this one with his presence?) To go on would cause more torture for you the reader then watching the film itself, so let me sum things up. MY BIG FAT…whatever, looks like it was shot for no budget, with no script, in my garage, and casts my best friend’s kids as actors. Which could all be forgivable, if the damn film was just funny, which alas, it isn’t. Painful.
It’s strange, but I ran into Chris Gore the very week of this DVD review. He pointed out that I had the R-rated version of the film and that the Unrated version was “way funnier”. When asked about the film, Gore responded “go easy on us, we weren’t trying to change the world.” Indeed, Chris, indeed.

Commentary (with Director Philip Zlotorynski and Writer/Producer Chris Gore): Director Zlotorynski and Producer Gore give a light and fluffy commentary and it’s not exactly memorable. Although I love the self effacing bits when they say things like “if we were making a professional movie”. Also love when they argue over what makes a good commentary, with Gore saying “it should be funny” and Zlotorynski saying “I’m not funny”, as well as critiquing their own words here with Gore saying “Neither of us is doing very good”. When the director has to point out the visual gags by saying “if you don’t look really close you can’t tell”, you know there’s trouble in paradise. (p.s. don’t do impressions guys!)

The Making Of My Big Fat Independent Movie (10:58): Everyone, from the actors to the filmmakers, explain the characters and story, basic stuff. Everyone tries so hard to be funny, but it’s to no avail. We also learn in this one that Director Zlotorynski is an actual live person. (I would have hidden!) Most honest (or maybe not?!) moment – when producer Gore says he tricked Zlotorynski into directing the film and says “Sorry”. Better late then never.

There is also a Theatrical (yeah, in your dreams!) Trailer as well as a hidden Easter egg of a session with Jason Mewes doing his voice over work - it explains a lot. And let's not forget about the 7 "Collectable" (spelled collectible on the box!) Postcards, which are shameless pieces of self-promoting mechandise, masked as an added bonus. Yuck. Hey, maybe the Unrated Version of the film would’ve blown me away! Sure.
Want to rent a comedy that spoofs independent films like SWINGERS and EL MARIACHI and it’s not even remotely funny? Boy, have I got the flick for you. MY BIG FAT INDEPENDENT MOVIE is just what you have been looking for; it’s truly a horrible excuse for a comedy, spoof, or just plain piece of film footage for that matter. Its HD stock that could have been used to shoot 4 short films with about a zillion times more creativity than this piece of flaming human excrement. (Hell, if none of the shorts were any good, it would still be worth it!) This film, as the box says, “takes the highbrow world of independent film to an all-new low.” Well this is ground level folks and guess what, it looks like shit. Let me put it to you this way, if I were in one of those Quentin Tarantino Mexican standoffs with this film, I know exactly who I would shoot first….myself.
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