25th Jul2014

‘Awful Nice’ VOD Review

by Phil Wheat

Stars: James Pumphrey, Christopher Meloni, Brett Gelman, Laura Ramsey, Alex Rennie, Keely Hazell | Written by Todd Sklar, Alex Rennie | Directed by Todd Sklar


You know you’re in for a tough time with a movie, especially a comedy, when the promotion centres around one of the smaller roles and NOT the films leads. And so is the case with Awful Nice. Yes, despite the appearance of Christopher Meloni (Law & Order: SVU, True Blood) amongst the cast of unknowns, the apparent star of this film – at least according to the PR spiel rolled out for the movie so far – is “British FHM darling Keely Hazell”.

Yeah doesn’t look good does it?

Awful Nice tells the story of Jim and Dave. Two brothers who haven’t seen each other in years, but when their father unexpectedly dies, they are forced to travel down to Branson together to redeem their inheritance; the family’s lake house. Upon arriving, they find that the house is in terrible condition, and worse-yet, they’ll have to fix it themselves before they can sell it and receive their money. What follows is a series of hilarious mishaps and costly misadventures that ultimately help the two brothers rebuild their strained relationship as they attempt to restore the house they grew up in.

There’s seems to be a trend in current US cable TV comedy for antisocial, often obnoxious lead characters (see the likes of Always Sunny in Philadelphia and Wilfred) but when a film follows suit and is ONLY about it’s antisocial obnoxious leads it makes for a hard slog; even moreso when the film is little more than a one-joke comedy. Combine the two and you have a film that does it’s best to make you hate it. And in the case of Awful Nice it succeeds. It succeeds epically.

Given the fact the film is billed as Stepbrothers meets Road Trip – two films I can watch over and over again – I had high hopes for this indie comedy. How wrong could I, and the hyperbole surrounding this film, be. Awful Nice? Sadly more like just plain awful.

Awful Nice is released On Demand & Digital on August 11th by Solo Media.


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