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VIFF 2013: Lawrence & Holloman

Monday 30th, September 2013 / 17:43

Lawrence&HollomanVancouverite Matthew Kowalchuk directs this adaptation of the play by Morris Panych. Holloman, played by Daniel Arnold, is an invidible, neurotic, depressed employee in the credit department of a store.

Lawrence (Ben Cotton) is his perfect foil – bombastic, obnoxiously happy and dumb as a brick. After a chance encounter in an elevator, Holloman becomes fixated on Lawrence, and the two form a friendship of sorts – one that revolves around Lawrence berating and attempting to improve Holloman’s outlook on life, although he has no real idea who Holloman is or what his life is like. He assumes Holloman works as a shoe salesman and lives with his mother, continuing in these assumptions even after attempted corrections by Holloman.

Lawrence is a guy we all know – the buffoon you can’t stand, yet somehow things just work out for him. Is it sheer dumb luck? What does it take to change someone’s outlook on life? These questions arise as things in Lawrence’s life begin to go horribly awry and he continues his blind optimism in the face of it all.

This is a pretty twisted black comedy about obsession and perspective. It’s certainly over-the-top at times, with the farcical nature of the story and script veering into the outrageous. The acting is capable but ventures too close to parody sometimes. It’s entertaining, but began to feel like a student film or extra-long comedy skit before long.

In other words, instead of being immersed in the story, I was very “aware” I was watching a film. It’s a solid effort from local filmmakers, although I wouldn’t go in for a second viewing.

Showing on October 1 at the Rio Theatre at 6:45 p.m. and on October 9 at SFU Woodwards at 3:45 p.m.

By Carly Smith