Year Released: 2000
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 77 minutes
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Danny Marcus (Scott Jason) is a so-far unsuccessful aspiring actor who’d rather crash Hollywood parties to make connections or badger his agent for a part in an indie flick in hopes of getting his Big Break than work for a living. Danny also harbors a disturbing Bruce Willis fetish which, while still semi-snicker inducing, doesn’t seem quite so laughable considering the Receded One’s recent screen successes.
Potentially more disastrous problems for Danny stem from the fact that his girlfriend Lea (Tamara Lynch), having had her fill of his apathetic approach to life, has bounced his barely talented butt. Bad enough in its own right, but a double disaster given that Danny and his obnoxious, high strung brother Derek (David Holmes) face eviction in two days. That’s when their mom (Catherine Bevington) and her wealthy but tight-fisted new boyfriend Leonard (Dan Calvary) will put Danny’s childhood home up for sale. No Lea, no place to live, no problem. Actually, Big Problem…or it would be, except that Danny thinks he’s concocted a surefire scheme to achieve stardom.
As a rule, industry movies, that is to say, movies about writers and actors or movies about making movies, tend to be a tedious lot. Often highly unoriginal and full of lame insider “jokes,” such films generally entertain only those involved with the film’s creation and maybe a few overly enthusiastic family members. “Good for Nothing” is a surprising exception to this rule, however. Granted, the film has its share of in-jokes and stereotypes. Granted too, the film’s technical qualities, particularly its audio dubbing, are occasionally of a very dubious nature. That being said, however, “Good for Nothing” is also a wryly amusing and clever movie.
Jason is perfectly cast as Danny, whose laconic, monotoned deadpan delivery perversely pushes the film along in a very Zen-like manner. Holmes is equally well cast as Danny’s polar opposite brother. Director Mark Gutman also deserves some of the credit for successfully treading the dangerous line between relentlessly low key comedy and tedium.
“Good for Nothing” casts a well-deserved cynical eye on the entertainment machine responsible for most of the tripe that passes for movie these days. Yet thankfully, this is more Danny’s story; a dryly droll tale of desperately sought after dreams not quite realized, than a movie about making movies. Thus, “Good for Nothing,” a film that could quite easily have been worth exactly what its title suggests, strangely enough exceeds those meager expectations.
Posted on June 4, 2000 in Reviews by Merle Bertrand
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