Ric’s Netflix Picks: “Somebody Up There Likes Me” (2012)
How much of a story can you tell, when there isn’t much to tell?
Max Youngman (Keith Poulson) is an awkward man. Over the course of his life, he aloofly stumbles in and out of love with the equally awkward Lyla (Jess Weixler). With his “best friend” Sal (Nick Offerman) guiding him, what could possibly go wrong…?
And that’s about all you’ll get when it comes to a plot description. Somebody Up There Likes Me (2012) is an incredibly strange movie. I was expecting to see a typical awkward comedy, but that is not what I got. Even though the characters are all deliberately wooden, it does not feel ridiculous. Everyone acts in a stiff manner and this lends to a consistent tone.
Poulson is the protagonist of the story, but events seem to happen around him rather than directly to him. He is not in charge of his destiny; Poulson portrays this listlessness quite well. Weixler matches Poulson’s rigidity pound for pound, even adding a slight bit of playfulness to her character. For me, Offerman was the real reason I gave this movie a chance. It’s hard not to see Parks and Recreation‘s Ron Swanson when you look at Offerman, but he does a great job selling himself as the mild-mannered and amoral Sal. Balancing out the main cast is Stephanie Hunt, bringing some refreshingly quirky charm. Recognizable faces Jonathan Togo (CSI: Miami) and Marshall Bell round out the supporting cast. Look for small cameos by bigger faces Kevin Corrigan (Grounded For Life) and Megan Mullally.
Without a doubt, Somebody Up There Likes Me (2012) is a bizarre movie, but there is something appealing about the off-kilter approach that director Bob Byington took. If you’re looking for a light and strange date night movie, I highly suggest it.
4.0 out of 5.0
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