'It's a Disaster' review: The end of world has never been funnier
Most comedies rely solely on comedy hay-makers - large, over-the-top gags designed solely for applause break laughs. "It's A Disaster," however, is the rare comedy that scores a KO via sharp, hard-hitting comedy jabs.
In short: eight friends gather for their regular Sunday brunch when they get word of a horrible terrorist attack. This disaster, however, does not stop them from sniping and taking passive aggressive shots at each other. Blaise Miller, Erinn Hayes, Jeff Grace, America Ferrera, Julia Stiles and David Cross star. (watch the trailer)
The layering an indie comedy over a disaster backdrop works perfectly here. The consequences of the disaster plot are ever present from the beginning of the movie - but it's always in the background. The terrorist attacks highlight just how each of characters would react - from pragmatic fatalism, paranoia to catatonic shock. The characters' responses to a terrible terrorist attack takes center stage.
The key reason 'Disaster' works is the organic feeling back-and-forth dynamic between the characters. This genuinely feels like a group with years of history who communicate in almost a familial manner - often talking over each other and relating with ease. The comedy comes from its subtle, but hard-hitting script - many of the biggest laughs come from quick, surprising comedic jabs.
The first act, however, is pleasant but it is a little slow. The first act builds a solid foundation for the rest of the film to launch from - however, the early third works harder in establishing background and an indie/organic tone than actually delivering many punchlines. The jokes begin to pick up immediately as the second act begins. Some of the jokes are a little over-the-top and not all of the lines work, but the vast majority do work.
"It's a Disaster" is a strong comedy with great comedic timing -- but its slow start that takes up a significant portion of its 90-minute running time is the main reason it falls short of a 4-star rating.
Final verdict: Highly recommended for comedy fans.
"It's a Disaster" is currently playing in Seattle at the SIFF Film Center starting today through Thursday, May 2nd. This indie comedy is also available via VOD services (xbox video, iTunes, etc).