Sometimes as a critic you have to see things you won’t like, especially at film festivals. Seeing An Evening with Beverly Luff Linn at Fantastic Fest is certainly one of those outings for me. Jim Hosking’s first feature, The Greasy Strangler, did nothing for me. This film looked potentially better than The Greasy Strangler and as such I ended up in a theater watching it. So let me tell you what I think about it.
An Evening with Beverly Luff Linn primarily follows Lulu (Aubrey Plaza) who is miserable with her selfish husband Shane Danger (Emile Hirsch). Shane is the manager of a small coffee franchise and longs for wealth. After he robs his brother in law Adjay he ends up with Colin Threadener (Jemaine Clement) hired to get the money back. But his attempt to steal it back is interrupted by Lulu who instead hires him to bodyguard her as she takes the money. She runs off to a hotel to see the mysterious “An Evening with Beverly Luff Linn”. She seems to know the mysterious Luff Linn (Craig Robinson) and she tries to reach out to him while hiding out at the hotel.
So…I’m not gonna beat around the bush, but I absolutely hated this movie and have no faith in Hosking anymore. Quite literally after the first 20 minutes I was absolutely miserable, but I stuck it out. It wasn’t out of hope for it to get better. It was mostly because I was waiting for my check from The Drafthouse. Honestly there is some charm to the goofiness at the start, but he keeps making the film try to be funny but it just feels like an overlong Tim and Eric episode…but worse. If you want to watch comedy that tries to get weird just to be weird, and gross because it can, then maybe this is for you. But this isn’t good weird in my opinion. Its just kind of insulting at a point.
Honestly, I can’t even blame the talent for bad performances in An Evening with Beverly Luff Linn. It more feels like they just were directed poorly and as such there is nothing to really get from their performances. Actually, I think Hirsch is the best part of this movie because he’s hamming it up and having fun in the first half. He is playing really misplaced machismo with lots of gesturing and physical comedy that works for at least a little bit, and I applaud that. Zach Cherry as his lead henchman Tyrone has some moments too, but they’re small and feel more just attempts to get weird again and distract from the plot. Plaza is just fine, but her character feels like the most one note version of her glaring selfish character she has coined. Clement feels like he’s doing the weirdest characters from movies he’s done all rolled into one and its worse for ware in most situations. Even Matt Berry doing his usual over the top nonsequitor sort of shtick that I generally enjoy does nothing here as he’s stuck with Robinson who is half farting Frankenstein’s Monster here. Its just a massive waste of talent and of time. Time I’ll never get back.
I know there are people that will enjoy this. There was a theater full with me at Fantastic Fest laughing their asses off while I sat there bitter that I wasted a block. An Evening with Beverly Luff Linn has its crowd, and if you liked The Greasy Strangler it’ll probably be for you. But for me its one of, if not the, worst film I’ve seen this year. And I’ve seen a lot of crap this year.