Two old friends reunite, which causes complications.
Rash and Koechner inhabit their characters completely, and the film convinces you that the men have known each other for decades. Rash has the cloying voice of a stereotypical bookworm, and when he strips down to reveal a gym rat’s body, the two characteristics tell you everything you need to know about him. Koechner expertly captures the boisterous/obnoxious demeanor of a chronically unfaithful man who’s spent a lifetime mistaking himself for the rightful center of attention. Huey keeps needling others, spouting provocations, trying to see how many pointlessly abrasive statements he can get away with, a tedious ritual that spoils potentially pleasurable evenings and irritates Bernard. “Do you really believe this shit, or are you just talking?” a young woman asks Huey, rhetorically, after he launches into a monologue about how New York City is “tops in mean queers.” “Why even speak?” Bernard says quietly.
Both men are miserable, self-centered people, though occasionally entertaining because their respective torrents of dialogue contain quotable one-liners. (Bernard, who prefers the company of much younger partners, and hastily corrects himself when he says “girl” instead of “woman,” complains about the prospect of having to date anyone “old enough to be my wife.”) Their misogyny runs deep. The movie keeps flashing back to the 1980s in which the twenty-something Huey tries to help Bernard) get laid with help from his heavily annotated black book. “You know, we’re living in the age of the urban chick,” Huey tells Bernard. “They’re hip, they know it all … You take the urban chick on her own terms, man, you’re dead.” The men swapped lifestyles at a certain point. Now Huey has (or had) a family and a successful business. Bernard has a hyperactive sex life, a hamster-wheel job in publishing, and the ripped, swollen physique of a middle-aged man who’s terrified of getting old.
As soon as Bernard and Huey become roommates, they lapse into their old patterns, then fight against them, and farcical complications ensue. Bernard starts dating Huey’s daughter Zeldahis estranged only child by his ex-wife Aggie while Huey takes up with Bernard’s therapist girlfriend, Roz “Rizzoli & Isles”). Viewers who are familiar with Feiffer’s relationship-and-social satire-driven comic strips, as well as “Carnal Knowledge,” won’t be surprised by the film’s sour, at times corrosive edge. Like ” and,” two other notable dramas about American misogynists, this one is often dazzlingly assured—the performances are spot-on, and the production looks and sounds great. Mirvish and his cinematographer shot “Bernard and Huey” on Super 16mm film in a wide format, an unusual choice for a talk-driven story, and they have a knack for starting and ending scenes with clever compositions that tease the eye by making you wonder what you’re looking at.
Released:8 June 2018
Category:Featured Hollywood, Hollywood Movies 2017
Stars:Bellamy Young, Lauren Miller Rogen, Mae Whitman, Nancy Travis, Sasha Alexander
Actors:Bellamy Young, David Koechner, Eka Darville, Jay Renshaw, Jim Rash, Lauren Miller, Mae Whitman, Nancy Travis, Richard Kind, Sasha Alex