If a movie paints itself into a corner in its first few minutes, it rarely finds anywhere interesting to go. Barry Munday, the directorial debut of Chris D'Arienzo, is an exception, transcending a familiar plot with sharp dialogue and awkward grace.
The film, which had its world premiere at SXSW on Saturday, features the titular character (Patrick Wilson) declaring that he has unexpectedly lost his testicles. Where can you go from there? Barry is a rather tiresome, self-imagined ladies' man, flirting horribly with female co-workers and heading out to chain restaurants for drinks with his buddy to try and score chicks. Somehow he makes conquests on a regular basis, presumably with women who are even more desperate than he is, hoping that meaningless sexual encounters will fill up the emptiness of their lives.
In the midst of his latest pickup with an aggressive younger woman, he is attacked and loses his most prized possessions (as described by Frank Turner Hollan, who wrote the novel on which the film is based, in the post-screening Q&A). Post-recovery, things become even more dire when he is served with a paternity claim from a one-night stand he can't remember. Played by Judy Greer, initially unrecognizable beneath huge spectacles and dowdy clothing, Ginger turns out to be a virgin harridan, exceedingly unpleasant and resistant to any of Barry's remorse-filled entreaties.