A Film With Me In It (2010) Short Review (R)
A film With Me In It is like a Hitchcock film made as a film school study aid by a writer/professor trying to illustrate how to make a proper suspense entertainment where two murderers are trying to cover up their crime without having them actually be murderers. And that still doesn’t describe the film properly. It’s a British comedy, but works as a suspense thriller while having elements of satire or surrealism. I didn’t know what I was in for here (the best way to watch a film) and I was happily surprised that this wasn’t just good, but a great film.
Many on this side of the pond will recognize Dylan Moran from his role in Shaun Of The Dead (and maybe Run Fatboy, Run). Mark Doherty, however is the real star here. He writes and stars in the film and winks at the audience all of the way through. He pokes fun at the movie business, film geeks looking to find holes in the films they watch, and even himself. The great thing is that this never goes down the road of the absurd. The situation is surreal but they play it straight the entire film and they don’t cheat ( at least I don’t think they do).
The film opens with Mark Doherty playing… Mark… who is an actor being given the once over by a couple of producers. They pass on him, but not before disparaging his appearance and getting his name wrong. He walks home disappointed and tries to avoid the landlord. He lives with his girlfriend Sally (Amy Huberman), his brother 9who is wheelchair bound) and a friend named Pearce (Moran), a self proclaimed writer recovering from alcoholism that makes his money betting on horses. The house they live in is falling apart and nothing seems to work at anytime. It’s dilapidated to the point of being hazardous. They want the landlord to fix everything, but he won’t until he gets his rent money. After taking Sally’s dog for a ‘walk’, Mark learns that she’s had enough and is moving out.
I really can’t say any more than that about the plot other than there are a series of highly unlikely accidents that occur in a short period of time that completely turn Mark’s life (and Pearce’s) upside down. As bad as he thinks his life was, it gets much worse for him.
I love that the film not only made me laugh at the dark humor, but made me a bit queasy as the situation becomes more and more out of control for the protagonist. I also like how the two characters work out the film’s script while they are trying to find a way out of their situation. I loved the ending and this is certainly a film that lives up to its title. I checked Doherty’s imdb page and am saddened that he continues to appear only in small roles. He’s not only an actor with deadpan comic timing, he’s also a good writer. Maybe he’ll write another film for himself and it’ll get made.