My Big Fat Independent Movie Philip Zlotorynski

The popularity of spoof comedies comes and goes in cycles. Since the early '80s, when films such as Airplane, Top Secret and Night Patrol set the standard formula for self-referential comedic cinema, there have been waves of film franchises that have done reasonably, and surprisingly, well at the box office. And, as much as there will be critical detractors, there will always be an audience who eats them up, because making fun of Hollywood clichés is funny. The films that come out of this theory usually aren't hysterical, though, and My Big Fat Independent Movie is no exception. Straying from the technique of teasing a select genre, this movie attacks independent films in general. As much as the average Joe/Jane would probably like to see indie film snobs get a good ribbing, it's hard to say whether he/she will be able to understand the references without being an indie film snob themselves. And the type of moviegoer who would see Amelie, Mulholland Dr. or Dancer in the Dark is probably not the same person who would like this film. The main characters are Harvey (Eric Hoffman) and Sam (Neil Barton), based on Pulp Fiction's Travolta and Samuel L. Jackson pairing, respectively. They are two hit men on a mission to pull off a "botched robbery" and on their trek they pick up Swingers-influenced Johnny Vince (Darren Keefe) and Julianne (Paget Brewster), who is basically Jennifer Aniston's character from The Good Girl. The formula for the spoof comedy is to fit in as many jokes-per-minute as possible and to roll out a lot of characters and direct references to specific films it's mocking, and My Big Fat Independent Movie doesn't miss the mark on that end. It makes fun of Run Lola Run, Pi, El Mariachi, Far From Heaven, Magnolia and Waking Life in brief, biting bursts. When the characters talk about how to find Mulholland Drive, the answer is: "it's the one with the blinking street sign, next to the lesbian bar surrounded by all the clichéd characters." Ooooh, snap! Aside from a commentary track from the director and producer, the only bonus feature is a "making of" featurette. In it, the writer of the screenplay, Chris Gore (the creator and editor of Film Threat magazine), is interviewed. If this is what happens to critics who spend their lives watching independent films, it's depressing. (Anchor Bay)