Film Review: The Mimic

STUDIO: Gravitas Ventures | DIRECTOR: Thomas F. Mazziotti | CAST: Thomas Sadoski, Jake Robinson, Austin Pendleton, Gina Gershon, Marilu Henner,  Tammy Blanchard
RELEASE DATE: Feb. 5, 2021
SPECS: NR | 81 min. | Comedy

RATINGS (out of 5 dishes): Movie  1/2

A truly odd, screwy—but not necessarily “screwball”—confection that seems as determined to defy expectations as it does to be funny or entertaining, The Mimic should be saluted for its ambitiousness (if nothing else).

The film mostly centers on two people: “The Narrator” (Thomas Sadoski, I Smile Back) and “The Kid” (Jake Robinson, Life Itself). The Kid, who happens to be 31 years-old, is new to the New York suburbs when he joins the local volunteer neighborhood staff of which The Narrator, who is ten years older than The Kid, is a member.

The Narrator, a widowed screenwriter, and The Kid, married with no children, begin a bromance and it seems that the more that is learned about The Kid, the more fascinated The Narrator becomes. So much so, in fact, that he thinks The Kid would be a good subject for his next screenplay.

Thanks in part to the script by director Thomas F. Mazziotti (Charlie Hoboken), the interplay between Sadoski and Robinson is quick-paced and has a certain rhythm that will remind audiences of a stage farce. The Narrator begins to wonder if his new pal is a sociopath. There are also questions about The Kid’s sexual desires, his seemingly on-again off-again relationship with his wife and The Narrator’s desire to go to bed with her.

The Mimic’s goal appears to be to steering viewers all over the place is reflected in its use of narration, breaking the fourth wall and even introducing “the writer” and “the director” of the film at an odd time. This could be taken as an homage to Charlie Kaufman’s warped film work, but it doesn’t quite register.

Along with the unending stream of repartee—sometimes witty, sometimes not—between the two characters is a fine supporting cast of such recognizable actors as Gina Gershon (Cagefighter: Worlds Collide), Jessica Walter (Keep the Change), Austin Pendleton (She’s Funny That Way), Marilu Henner (Imperfections), Tammy Blanchard (Of Two Minds) and M. Emmet Walsh (Calvary).

All seem game for the cinematic shenanigans writer-director Mazziotti has up his sleeve, but are audiences?

Watch The Mimic

About Irv

Irv Slifkin has been reviewing movies since before he got kicked off of his high school radio station for panning The Towering Inferno in 1974. He has written the books VideoHound’s Groovy Movies: Far-Out Films of the Psychedelic Era and Filmadelphia: A Celebration of a City’s Movies, and has contributed film reportage and reviews to such outlets as Entertainment Weekly, The Hollywood Reporter, Video Business magazine and National Public Radio.