12th Dec2017

‘Spent’ Review

by Kevin Haldon

Stars: Sally Anderson, Darren Barzegar, Erin Harth, Sonya Kalian, Connie Lamothe, Janna Livingston, Nataly Martin, Joe Mayes, Nathan McDonald, Madeline Mikitarian, Nick Nerangis, Hannah Overholtzer, Anna Grace Padgett, Tony Villa | Written and Directed by Lisa Mikitarian

spent-poster

I’m no stranger to the dark comedy genre, I mean come on I am British after all… So when I received Spent, a movie branded with the tagline “Ruthless People meets Fargo” well, there was no way I was letting this one pass me by. Throw in some comedy awards on the indie movie circuit, including Winner Best Comedy at the American Filmatic Arts Awards, and you got me.

Spent is the story of Lonnie Schumacher (Darren Barzegar) and his mother Evelyn (Connie Lamothe), who are having the time of there life, while penny pinching father and husband Herbert lays dying in hospital with a brain tumor. Lonnie has huge plans of buying his dream car and riding off with his dream girl, while his mother has taken up a relationship with another man… However Herbert makes a miraculous 4th of July recovery and is quickly inserted back into their life. What are they to do? Well there is only one thing to do really… Herbert is about to wish that the tumour had killed him!!!

Let’s get straight to the point. Spent is very much a middle-of-the-road movie. It’s a hard one to critique in a way because it does so many things right and very little wrong, yet I felt there was just something lacking in the film, at least for me. The overall performances were just… good; with a couple of stand-out scenes (mostly coming from Madeline Mikitarian, who I thought got exactly what this film was). The script was by the numbers but decent enough to get by, honestly Spent was only really saved by the style and tone and soundtrack of this weird little indie movie.

I love the 40s / 50s style writer/director Lisa Mikitarian was going for, it plays really well into the over the top over theatrical performances of the actors, ties into the characters and, in a crazy way, slightly downplays the absurdity of the entire situation.

Honestly, there are worse ways to spend your time than watching Spent. Its a quick enough and an entertaining enough watch for my taste and if anything it harkens back to a style and genre of movie rarely produced these days. Mikitarian has taken what I would normally call bold and out there choices and made them work together in her own unique way; making Mikitarian someone, I believe, we should keep an eye on going forward.

Not my strongest recommendation ever but its a recommendation all the same. If you like your humour to be Cohen-esque then you should check Spent out sometime.

Spent opens December 15th in L.A. theaters and on VOD.

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