Thursday, August 25, 2016

Movie Review: Joshy (2016)

Joshy (2016) - Written and Directed by Josh Baena; Starring Thomas Middleditch, Adam Pally, Alex Ross Perry, Nick Kroll, Brett Gelman, Jenny Slate, Lauren Graham, Aubrey Plaza, Joe Swanberg, Alison Brie, Jake Johnson.

By Kenny Howell

A young man's fiancee commits suicide, and his buddies decide to still go away on what was supposed his bachelor party in this mumblecore-ish dramedy.

Thomas Middleditch (The Final Girls) is the titular Joshy, still trying to pick up the pieces after his depressed fiancee Rachel (Alison Brie) hangs herself in their apartment. Not all of the friends that were originally supposed to go on the bachelor party trip decide to go on the new modified trip, but a few close friends do, some of which don't know each other. Those that do are Ari, Adam and Eric, three supremely different characters that probably don't make for the most cohesive group for a trip. But it doesn't really matter. Josh just needs to get away.

Once there, the group party, some reluctantly with the usual bachelor party stuff, though on a more muted approach. They go to the one bar in town, drink, smoke weed, meet a few girls also on a trip, and try to work through what they need to work through.

I don't know if Joshy is technically mumblecore, but it certainly feels like it. It might be because familiar faces like Joe Swanberg (Happy Christmas) and Jake Johnson (Drinking Buddies) pop up. I feel like there was at least one Duplass brother hiding in the bushes somewhere. Like most mumblecore films, it seems a bit improvised, and unlike some of the other mumblecore films, at least the ones that suffer, there are super talented improvisers here. There are a lot of Comedy Bang Bang veterans here in Middleditch, Nick Kroll (Adult Beginners), Adam Pally and Brett Gelman, plus talents like Jenny Slate (Obvious Child) and Aubrey Plaza (The To Do List). Surprisingly, it is Alex Ross Perry that really steals the show. Perry is known more for directing great films like Listen Up, Philip and Queen of Earth, is superb here as the wet blanket of the party, a guy who doesn't really want to party, really wants to play a Dungeons and Dragons style board game, and will go on tangents about his thoughts on time travel. Stacked up with Middleditch, Kroll and Pally, Perry more than holds his own and has some of the funniest moments of the movie.

Joshy is now on Video on Demand.

Rating: ***

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