Review: Barry Munday DVD

Barry Munday DVD boxSTUDIO: Magnolia | DIRECTOR: Chris D’Arienzo | CAST: Patrick Wilson, Judy Greer, Malcolm McDowell, Colin Hanks, Missi Pyle, Chloe Sevigny, Shea Wigham, Emily Procter, Christopher McDonald, Cybill Shepherd, Jean Smart
RELEASE DATE: 12/7/10 | PRICE: DVD $26.98, Blu-ray $29.98
BONUSES: commentary, deleted scenes, outtakes, gag reel, HDNet featurette, more
SPECS: R | 95 min. | Comedy | 1.78:1 widescreen | Dolby Digital 5.1 | English and Spanish subtitles

RATINGS (out of 5): Movie | Audio | Video | Overall

Barry Munday, based on the novel Life is a Strange Place by Frank Turner Hollon, stars the regularly dashing Patrick Wilson (The A Team) in a distinctly un-Patrick Wilson-ish kind of role.

Wilson’s title character in this independent film is a lazy-ish, relatively aimless single suburban guy who stalks the local Chili’s or TGI Fridays looking for action — and often getting some from the inebriated local lovelies who laugh at Barry’s lame jokes before crawling into the backseat with him. Barry’s satisfied with his undemanding life until he’s hit with a double-whammy: First, an assault by the angry father of one of his younger conquests results in Barry losing his “family Jewels.” Then, a frizzy-haired whiner named Ginger (Judy Greer, Love Happens) steps forward and names him as the father of her unborn baby, the result of a drunken one-night stand with Barry wherein she also lost her virginity. If only Barry could remember her…

Definitely not the Patrick Wilson we’ve seen in Watchmen and Little Children.

Wilson’s playing against type is the chief pleasure in this movie. His inevitable transformation from an overgrown, aimless local dude to a thirtysomething who decides it’s time to move forward is well-played, though the overall tone set by writer/director Chris D’Arienzo (writer of Broadways’ Rock of Ages) isn’t overly funny or dramatic. Even the loss of Wilson’s manhood isn’t played up. So why include it? The points that Barry Munday tries to make about responsibility and age come across lazily — like Barry himself in the first half of the picture. The dialog and editing could have been livened up a bit too.

A supporting cast of familiar faces makes the story go down easy, though. The always-game Greer overdoes it a bit, but she’s still fun as Barry’s mousy maybe-mother-of-his-baby. Missi Pyle (Galaxy Quest), Chloe Sevigny (TV’s Big Love) and Jean Smart (Youth in Revolt) all pop up as the other women in Barry’s life, with Smart standing out as Barry’s surprisingly calm mother.

The generous supplemental package on the DVD includes outtakes and a blooper reel, revealing the cast to be having a lively time during the shoot. We wish more of that energy appeared on the screen.

 

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About Laurence

Founder and editor Laurence Lerman saw Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest when he was 13 years old and that’s all it took. He has been writing about film and video for more than a quarter of a century for magazines, anthologies, websites and most recently, Video Business magazine, where he served as the Reviews Editor for 15 years.