Running Funny Anthony Grippa

There is a lack of subtlety and originality in this egregious take on the humdrum existential anxieties that privileged, straight white men suffer post-graduation that almost brings sincerity to what is essentially a series of insincere rants about defining oneself in relation to external cultural signifiers. While hypocritical, the text of Running Funny is at least partially aware of its pretence, offering up reductive insights about the nature of moving forward via accepting inevitability or remaining true to oneself through unapologetic difference, despite mocking the very institution that it has unknowingly embraced in a stereotypical fashion. Rather simplistically the story examines the experiences and struggles of Eddie (Gene Gallerano) and Michael (Maximilian Osinski) after they graduate from college, move into the garage of a retired blind war veteran (Louis Zorich) and look for jobs. While Eddie obeys the rules of conformity in the hopes of escaping the economic and social confines that his family remain within, Michael finds the entire ordeal absurd, calling everyone out on their insincerity and learning to run regardless if others are laughing. It is all incredibly obvious and presented with a visibly low budget, along with some awkwardly staged scenarios. The film shows promise with occasionally decent performances and moments of cinematic insight, even though it's all rather puerile and amusing. Included with the DVD release is a short film by director Anthony Grippa called Skeeball, which is dreadful from a technical standpoint, and again, inappropriately funny, offering up some typical "college kid" bullshit in the form of gaining perspective by having daddy finance a trip to Europe and how sincere connections seemingly come from being phoney. Also included is a feature-length director's commentary with writers and actors in tow, which truthfully sounds like the many pretentious and glib pub night conversations that many of us had to endure while getting our post-secondary education. Occasionally they discuss filming on a low budget and production problems, which proves more interesting. (Lifesize)