We wanted our SXSW '09 coverage to be pretty much wrapped up by this point, but then we figured ... what's the rush? At this point we'd be covering mostly the smaller films anyway, none of which have been seen outside the festival circuit, and it'd be stupid to pack our Cine spotlight into storage without shining it a few more times for the indie guys.
So yes, Drag Me to Hell was damn fun; Observe and Report was shockingly funny and unexpectedly ... dark; and everyone pretty much loved I Love You, Man. (Oh man, and don't even get me started on the Bruno footage!) Thanks to SXSW for programming some fun, flashy studio fare -- but now we're gonna tone the budgets down just a little. Not that it matters really. A movie is a movie is a movie, right? And I'd rather pick through any of the following flicks than deal with 80% of Hollywood's summertime output. (Ummm, fine. Let's say 70%.)
My first "little" favorite is a dry indie comedy called The Overbrook Brothers, which seems a lot like every "dry indie festival comedy" I've ever come across ... for the first few minutes. But once the tone is laid down and the two leads settle into an effectively fractious chemistry, it becomes a very funny road trip with a few moments of real insight and strange warmth. It's about two brothers (Nathan Harlan and Mark Reeb) who discover that they're adopted, and so they (along with one long-suffering girlfriend, excellently played by Laurel Whitsett) hit the road to an Austin adoption agency. Much banter, backbiting, and bickering ensues, but director John Bryant keeps a solid balance between absurd behavior and sincere heart.