Two Million Stupid Women (2009)
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RATING (0 to ****): ****
Melissa has a big problem. You see, it's her birthday tonight, and she's all ready to go in a pink, glittery dress (in a film filled with unprintable quotes, it starts with what she calls it), and she just needs to see her boyfriend JT. Unfortunately, when she arrives with her best friend Anna, JT isn't just cheating on her. He's having done to him something that Melissa, in a review-friendly revision, should theoretically be doing in her place.
In the first of many drinks, Melissa gets the idea that since she's so incredibly "stupid", she has to cut ties with every single one of her ex-boyfriends; Anna driving her to these places is her "birthday present", with one simple phrase that they all must say. "You're stupid, you're pathetic, and leave me alone."
Tagging along for this bizarre road trip is Todd, their other best friend who works in a comic book store and is mortified by the fact that he didn't get Peter Mayhew's autograph for Melissa (since not everybody knows who Peter Mayhew is, including Melissa and Anna... the man in the Chewbacca suit. And Todd thus needs no further description).
Director Jamie Nesse and his very capable cast, with Sarah Hall as Melissa, Katy Stoll as Anna, and Mark R. Gerson as Todd, bring a furiously entertaining and hilarious film, which at the Q&A was revealed to have been shot during the WGA strike in 11 days. We have screenwriter Amy Heidish most of all to thank for her incredible script, which isn't just hilarious and highly quotable; it's also surprisingly touching.
Hall's performance as Melissa should make you love her right away, like a foul-mouthed "Legally Blonde". Her heartbreak is your heartbreak, and your sympathies rest with her the entire time. But not so fast! Heidish's script makes Anna and Todd just as important, even if the former is constantly accused of being a bitch to everybody by everybody, all three of our leads are uniformly likeable. Guaranteed, you won't just be splitting your sides; you'll be laughing to the point where you're crying, or you'll be somewhere in between laughing and crying just by the devastation presented for the sake of comedy.
The concept holds up very well, with all sorts of characters that Melissa dated once upon a time ago as she knocks on their front doors to finalze everything. As you can probably guess, most of them have their new girls with them (and some have more than one). Whoops.
When the film goes to the inevitable point of conflict between the three friends (the only surprise is that it doesn't happen sooner), it already has us glued. Although we always love Melissa, the later scenes give us quality time with her friends Todd and Anna, and while shouting matches can destroy other films, they never seem out-of-place here and bring "Two Million Stupid Women" into emotional heights you never thought possible.
In the event that it does get distribution, it will be one of the best movies of its given year. Films like "Two Million Stupid Women" are too rare to pass off.
MPAA: Not Rated (but would be R for pervasive language and sexual content including dialogue)
Runtime: 1 hour, 43 minutes (101 minutes of "real movie" with an amusing photomontage during credits)
[size=1]This film is playing at San Jose Cinequest Film Festival (February 25 through March 8). If it does not have a distributor, then independent film is more hopeless than we all thought.[/size]
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