‘Quirky Comedy’ gets bandied around a fair bit – then along comes a movie that fits that description but not in equal measures.  There’s more quirk than comedy.  

Small Apartments celebrates weird people in a lovable way.  We can love these people when they’re in a film – but probably wouldn’t want to get too close to them in real life.  

Matt Lucas of UK TV’s Little Britain fame is no stranger to getting his gear off on screen.  In this age of the Cult Of Artificial Perfection, he is mesmerizing in his total lack of self-consciousness.  This is distinct from a mere exhibitionist or show-off.  In fact, I was wondering if Small Apartments might have been a left-of-centre sequel to Deliverance which also starred a tighty-whitey-undies guy played by Ned Beatty.  
He is raped by hillbillies in the woods because he has a ‘purrdy mouth’.

Matt Lucas has to contend with the urban equivalent of hillbillies with similar intentions.  
He spends much of the movie in ill-fitting, grubby tighty-whities looking like a giant white jellybean – that may or may not have been lightly stepped on by a foot.

Living alone with an assortment of wigs and a dog, his simple life is made more joyful by blowing his massive horn.  This bugs the bad artist next door played by James Caan.  And the magical cast is also rounded out with fat talent from Billy Crystal, Juno Temple, Peter Stormare (still love him in Fargo), James Marsden, Rebel Wilson and Johnny Knoxville.  

Dolph Lundgren also appears – or manifests might be a better term.  He is looking like the action star version of David Hasselhoff.  And I don’t mean in a good way.  Maybe he’s turning into a life-size organic version of an elderly GI Joe action figure.
Now – the issues I have with Small Apartments are these:

– Franklin’s voice – it sounds like a differnt actor turned up for the post production ADR, then the editor popped in this new voice with some shonky dubbing and sync slips.  Or did my eyes and ears deceive me?  Hmmm…

– The Pace – the trailer suggested the film was a cracker comedy when in fact, the movie is more ponderous.  This would have been okay if Franklin had enough going on in his head so we could join him on his inner journey.  But Franklin’s life and interests are a little too limited.

– The Filmmaker’s petticoats were showing.  By this, I mean Jonas Akerlund is still revealing the films and directors who may have influenced him.  I noticed the Hip Hop Transition made famous by Darren Aronofsky in Requiem For A Dream (and used by myself and Alicia Malone in our web show Movie Buff).

I might have also noticed a bit of homage to Repo Man, some influence from David Lynch’s Eraserhead, a bit of Charlie Kaufman’s work may have inspired Akerlund along with some Rear Window.  Or is that just me?  Mah.  That’s okay 🙂

Overall, I liked the film and I liked the gut-wrenchingly sad scenes – I just didn’t think I had signed up for [what I call] a ‘sad clown’ comedy.


Small Apartments is in cinemas soon – check your local guide for session times – here’s the director’s cut trailer which is more truthful to the pace of the movie than the general cinema trailers: