Bil’s rating (out of 5): B. USA, 2009. Bronco Productions, Rip Cord Productions. Screenplay by Jared Hess, Jerusha Hess.Cinematography by Munn Powell. Produced by John J. Kelly, Mike White. Music by David Wingo. Production Design by Richard A. Wright. Costume Design by April Napier. Film Editing by Yuka Ruell.
Michael Angarano plays a teenager who attends a writing convention for youngsters where he will meet the idol of his dreams: a science-fiction writer (Jemaine Clement) whose plots are almost as hideously strange as our young hero’s are. Cowboys in outer space being zapped in the genitals by interstellar babes is the sort of thing this kid dreams about, and he is horrified after arriving to discover that Clement, who is on a downward spiral in his career, has stolen his latest manuscript to pass off as his own. Director Jared Hess fails miserably to recapture the success of his quirky cult hit Napoleon Dynamite, here employing a host of characters whose strangeness is a hell of a lot more irritating (or in some cases cruel) than entertaining. Jennifer Coolidge couldn’t be better as Angarano’s out-of-touch mother, and Clement is hysterical, but their caricature performances are two good examples of the various styles of comedy that do not blend at all well here.