Ever seen one of those "slacker ensemble" comedies like Clerks, Empire Records or Waiting? Then you've seen just about everything that Michael Lehmann'sFlakes has to offer. Too bad the thing feels like a half-hearted and flimsily-written quickie production that forgot to include a whole lot in the laughs department. Penned by first-timer Chris Poche and polished by the generally excellent Karey Kirkpatrick, Flakes feels like something that was slapped together in a week with little attention paid to factors like originality, charm and humor. Not only have you already seen this belabored concept numerous times, but you probably didn't like it all that much the last nine times it popped up somewhere.
Aaron Stanford and Zooey Deschanel (last seen together in Live Free or Die) play a pair of insufferably smug "ain't we cool" anti-establishment-style free spirits who spend their days selling caustic T-shirts and doling out bowls of cereal for a stiffly "wacky" group of customers. But when a smarmy young businessman moves into the neighborhood and aims to steal the "cereal restaurant" concept for his own nefarious needs, why, it's up to the whole gaggle of slackers to band together and save their cereal bar, goshdarnit! In an effort to pad out the running time, Stanford and Deschanel must also contend with a "he won't grow up / she needs more" subplot that goes exactly where you expect it to -- and it does so in rather lethargic fashion.