A Film With Me In It

A Film With Me In It


Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

A girl, a dog, a depressive, a drunk and a disabled mute live together in a basement flat. The girl and the depressive are an item, or were. Now he shares a room with the drunk. The rent hasn’t been paid for three months. The landlord is seriously aggrieved and refuses to do any repairs until the money is paid.

Meanwhile, things fall apart; the handle of the bathroom door comes off when pulled too hard from the inside; the naked light bulb in the sitting room goes on and off, making a sizzling noise; the window in the kitchen acts like a guillotine if left open too long; the chandelier in the main room looks ready to drop and any bookcases screwed to walls are liable to collapse at any moment.

That’s only the start of it. The depressive is an actor who can’t find work. It might be his face. It resembles a coffin. The drunk says he’s going sober. He calls himself “a writer slash director slash waiter”, which means he sees everything in terms of film scripts and camera angles. What he sees mostly (in his mind’s eye) is the pub. He goes to Alcoholics Anonymous meetings with sad men in ugly clothes and talks bollocks. Everyone claps. He is rude to the landlord when he bumps into him, which is as little as possible. Both he and the depressive spend much of their day hiding.

They are what used to be called “absolute tossers”. Actually, there is no “used to” about it. The depressive’s brother is the disabled mute and he’s a non-starter. The girl is the only one who goes to work. She’s sexy and bright and hating life because of these numbnuts she’s living with. The drunk can put on the charm when forced by circumstance, like face-to-face with ruin, but usually he’s an unshaven scruff, talking effervescent garbage about the next movie he is going to write.

Although watching these losers go through the motion of wasting their lives is oddly therapeutic and refreshingly hopeless, the plot takes off into manic panic when people start dying. They don’t just die. They are killed. By accident.

“Who's going to believe that?” the drunk asks.

The depressive is too traumatised to respond.

This kind of thing was done with more refinement in films like Arsenic And Old Lace, but that’s neither here nor anywhere. That's the Forties.

A Film With Me In It is as refined as toasted frog's spawn, only spicier. It is genuinely funny, which is a rarity these days, and for that be giggleful. Dylan Moran plays these attractively useless dreamer types to perfection, especially if alcohol is involved, and Mark Doherty, who also wrote the script (four cheers), is type cast, like a walking suicide.

Reviewed on: 26 Jun 2008
Share this with others on...
Unemployed actors come face to face with sudden death.

Director: Ian Fitzgibbon

Writer: Mark Doherty

Starring: Dylan Moran, Mark Doherty, Keith Allen, Amy Huberman

Year: 2008

Runtime: 88 minutes

Country: Ireland


EIFF 2008

Search database: