Small Engine Repair
Until this evening, I had never even heard of this film. When my movie buddies put in our group text that this was what we were going to see tonight, I thought they were joking. Well they were not and the movie definitely left me shaken in both good and bad ways. What I learned about this movie after getting home and reading up on it is that it is based on a 2013 Off Broadway play, written by John Pollono. Come to find out, he also directs the film adaptation and overall I think he does a good job.
But when I hear references to the term ‘dark comedy’ for a film, my alarm goes off because it is always a hit-and-miss with me (usually a miss) as to whether or not I will like it. A good example is ‘The War of the Roses.’ I don’t know why people raved over it as it was totally depressing to me. The same can almost be said for ‘Small Engine Repair.’
The film is about 3 longtime childhood friends who are called together one evening by the ‘leader’ of the group, for what the other two think is just a reunion of the three but, oh, it ends up being much more than that. They had all previously parted ways after a brutal fight in a local bar and had not seen each other in months. At this reunion also appears a young, preppy kid that the leader had befriended and asked to come by his shop and hang out with the guys. Now the one catalyst to this meeting is that the daughter of the leader, who appeared early on in the film, has not been on the screen in awhile. I will leave it there so as to not spoil the big twist that comes at the end.
Ok, the good about this film is the directing and acting. I am going to have to give raves to one of my favorite actors, Jon Bernthal, who does a phenomenal job but everyone in this film is great. There are some heavy moments in this film that made it difficult to watch at times but it tells an important message that makes you think about what you would do in certain situations. As for the negative, it is just full of dialogue that really could have been much better and it does get depressing – and pretty horrific – in certain scenes. It is brutal needless to say.
Overall, definitely a film that holds your attention – whether that is bad or good I still have not decided.