The Guatemalan Handshake Reviews

  • Nov 13, 2015

    Gummo meets Napoleon Dynamite. If you are ready to quirk it up, this has many charms.

    Gummo meets Napoleon Dynamite. If you are ready to quirk it up, this has many charms.

  • Greg S Super Reviewer
    Aug 28, 2011

    After her boyfriend goes missing a pregnant woman with dozens of sisters all from different mothers enters a demolition derby against her Guatemalan father... and that's just one of many plotlines running concurrently in this bizarre rural community. How to describe this unique movie: maybe it's like what would happen if Wes Anderson rewrote GUMMO as a quirky comedy?

    After her boyfriend goes missing a pregnant woman with dozens of sisters all from different mothers enters a demolition derby against her Guatemalan father... and that's just one of many plotlines running concurrently in this bizarre rural community. How to describe this unique movie: maybe it's like what would happen if Wes Anderson rewrote GUMMO as a quirky comedy?

  • Mar 15, 2011

    boring indie crap, can't wait for the next Transformers.

    boring indie crap, can't wait for the next Transformers.

  • May 14, 2010

    I was quite surprised at this movie. I was hoping for something like George Washington, but with humor. Instead, I got something like a light-hearted David Lynch film. There is nothing really provocative in this movie other than the fact that it's lack of purpose leaves the viewer frustrated at having invested so much time in a story that never really pays off. At the end of the film I felt nothing for any of the characters, despite some of them ending up in slightly better situations than those in which they had started the film. The only real thing this film can be merited on is the occasionally wonderful cinematography, but even that must be scored down for the lack of consistency. I'm no prude, but I hate this movie.

    I was quite surprised at this movie. I was hoping for something like George Washington, but with humor. Instead, I got something like a light-hearted David Lynch film. There is nothing really provocative in this movie other than the fact that it's lack of purpose leaves the viewer frustrated at having invested so much time in a story that never really pays off. At the end of the film I felt nothing for any of the characters, despite some of them ending up in slightly better situations than those in which they had started the film. The only real thing this film can be merited on is the occasionally wonderful cinematography, but even that must be scored down for the lack of consistency. I'm no prude, but I hate this movie.

  • Walter M Super Reviewer
    May 14, 2010

    In "The Guatemalan Handshake," Donald(Will Oldham) disappears during a power outage. Two weeks later, his girlfriend Sadie(Sheila Scullin) asks to stay with his father(Ken Byrnes) when she shows up with a broken arm and pregnant after her father(Ivan Dimitrov) kicks her out of the house.(She is not lying when she says she has dozens of sisters as the family car is a school bus.) Wanting to move on, Sadie is introduced to Stool(Rich Schreiber) at the local roller rink where she accidentally breaks his nose. "The Guatemalan Handshake" is an odd comedy with a sense of humor that is occasionally unkind towards its peculiarly named characters. Otherwise, it does tend to celebrate these outsiders' uniqueness. In the end, the movie is salvaged by its offbeat charm.

    In "The Guatemalan Handshake," Donald(Will Oldham) disappears during a power outage. Two weeks later, his girlfriend Sadie(Sheila Scullin) asks to stay with his father(Ken Byrnes) when she shows up with a broken arm and pregnant after her father(Ivan Dimitrov) kicks her out of the house.(She is not lying when she says she has dozens of sisters as the family car is a school bus.) Wanting to move on, Sadie is introduced to Stool(Rich Schreiber) at the local roller rink where she accidentally breaks his nose. "The Guatemalan Handshake" is an odd comedy with a sense of humor that is occasionally unkind towards its peculiarly named characters. Otherwise, it does tend to celebrate these outsiders' uniqueness. In the end, the movie is salvaged by its offbeat charm.

  • Jan 24, 2010

    Although this indie starring Will Oldham starts off interesting enough, adept visuals setting up the more bizarre aspects of a small town's inhabitants, the let down is only moments away. That kind of letdown that some American independent films pride themselves on, it's straining of content for it's surrealistic comedic elements that seem uncommercial but what you end up with is simply a film that excels at being quirky for quirky sake. It's character's so one dimensional they lend nothing to it's paper thin storyline.

    Although this indie starring Will Oldham starts off interesting enough, adept visuals setting up the more bizarre aspects of a small town's inhabitants, the let down is only moments away. That kind of letdown that some American independent films pride themselves on, it's straining of content for it's surrealistic comedic elements that seem uncommercial but what you end up with is simply a film that excels at being quirky for quirky sake. It's character's so one dimensional they lend nothing to it's paper thin storyline.

  • Sep 21, 2009

    An understated, surrealist comedy that is more successful at being weird than funny. On the index of quirk, this winsome indie scores quite high.

    An understated, surrealist comedy that is more successful at being weird than funny. On the index of quirk, this winsome indie scores quite high.

  • Mar 21, 2009

    Couldn't even make it through; had to fast-forward through the last two-thirds and even THAT was a waste of time. The only intriguing thing was how even the cinematography and superimposed captions made it look like the film was made in the 1970s. And David Gordon Green LOVED this movie, eh?? That's just PURE indie film snobbery there, and Green's films are SO not as bad as this.

    Couldn't even make it through; had to fast-forward through the last two-thirds and even THAT was a waste of time. The only intriguing thing was how even the cinematography and superimposed captions made it look like the film was made in the 1970s. And David Gordon Green LOVED this movie, eh?? That's just PURE indie film snobbery there, and Green's films are SO not as bad as this.

  • Mar 01, 2009

    This film was like a version of Gummo that wasn't completely surrounded in depression and despair. It followed a number of quirky individuals around a midwestern town. The sense of humor in it resembled Napoleon Dynamite, so if you enjoyed that film, I recommend this.

    This film was like a version of Gummo that wasn't completely surrounded in depression and despair. It followed a number of quirky individuals around a midwestern town. The sense of humor in it resembled Napoleon Dynamite, so if you enjoyed that film, I recommend this.

  • Feb 15, 2009

    This movie is all surface and no depth. I thought it was about as thoughtful and interesting as a yapping dachshund. In a movie with a non-linear plot or stream of conscious narrative the emphasis of the storytelling falls on the writing, and the writing here is not on par. I give the movie credit because the acting is believable and the comedy half of the movie works pretty well, but the drama is just plain empty.

    This movie is all surface and no depth. I thought it was about as thoughtful and interesting as a yapping dachshund. In a movie with a non-linear plot or stream of conscious narrative the emphasis of the storytelling falls on the writing, and the writing here is not on par. I give the movie credit because the acting is believable and the comedy half of the movie works pretty well, but the drama is just plain empty.