ExTerminators John Inwood

ExTerminators John Inwood
Why a dark, funny comedy with edge and personality is dumped directly to DVD while a parade of unfunny, uninteresting Katherine Heigl comedies make it to the big screen is a pointless questioning of the Hollywood mechanism. Take heart, then, that little films like this are being made at all, providing a genuinely superior alternative to horrible fake empowerment pictures like Sex and the City 2. These are women whose raunchy discourse bears a hell of a lot more resemblance to ladies I know than the underwritten stereotypes populating far too many comedies. Alex (Heather Graham, Boogie Nights, The Hangover) is a sweet, nerdy woman who snaps after walking in on her boyfriend having a round of flesh Olympics with another female. Her reaction lands her in a court ordered rage therapy group where she befriends Stella (Jennifer Coolidge, a MILF to an entire generation and wickedly funny Jane Lynch substitute on Party Down), the sassy owner of a pest extermination business, and Nikki (Amber Heard, Pineapple Express, Alpha Dog), a dental technician more than a little prone to malicious acts. The three generations of sultry beauties bond over drinks and casual man hating, which Nikki and Stella take to a proactive, lucrative new level, while Alex begins an awkward courtship with a detective working a murder case. A pervy IRS agent drops an outrageous back tax payment plan on Stella and begins stalking Alex after she refuses his fishing for sexual bribery, deflecting the growing villainy of Stella and Nikki's macabre side-game. Who could be anywhere other than on Jennifer Coolidge's side though? She's so relentlessly funny and charming that she easily steals the show ― not to discredit the fine work from Heather Graham and Amber Heard (the later of whom particularly transforms for her character). There's a minor twist that keeps the outcome from being obvious, but the story ultimately doesn't feel as important as the relationship between these characters; it's their chemistry that makes the film worthwhile. Thankfully, although devoid of other features, a gag reel is included, with tons of hilarious footage of Coolidge trying out variations on lines and deliveries, dishing improvisation that makes me desperate to see her star in an Apatow production. The next time a "chick flick" suggestion is tabled, ExTerminators is a safe pick. (eOne)