It’s A Disaster
The best thing about "It’s A Disaster" is the DVD packaging: it’s plastic-free (except for the disc itself, which contains commentary and short behind-the-scenes pieces), and printed on mostly recycled paper in a carbon-neutral hydroelectric plant.
The fold-out "survival manual" is redundant and forced, much like the movie, but is "reminiscent of the heyday of LP record jackets," which make sense as the production company is Oscilloscope Laboratories, the brainchild of brilliant Beastie Boy Adam Yauch, who died way too young last year.
Writer/director Todd Berger and his improv buddies throw together a mish-mash of unlikeable types, who meet for a couples’ brunch and encounter dirty-bomb blasts (cringe-worthy timing, post-Boston Marathon). The whiney, privileged white pairs barely acknowledge the acts of terrorism in their hometown’s downtown and around the country. There’s almost no urgency in this low-rent Judd Apatow knock-off as some drink, some screw, science teacher America Ferrera as Hedy brews homemade Ecstasy, and the rest just quip about things like land-lines and fax machines ad nauseam.
The improv guys are flat, and their spouses are pinch-faced and shrill. The real actors wring more out of the tired script -- David Cross as new guy Glen is his usual dry deadpan with delicious derision percolating beneath, and his new girlfriend Julia Stiles as Tracy is also relatable.
Before rendered catatonic then spastic, Ferrera is engaging. But the premise is so improbable: how could the nerve gas NOT leak through the cracks of a hundred-year-old house, despite the application of tape around the windows? (There are endless riffs on "duck" vs. "duct" tape. What happened to insightful screenplays?)
The new Seth Rogen movie "This is the End" comes out next week, and looks like it follows the same lame formula of party hipsters freestyle during an apocalypse, then ensuing "hilarity." I think both titles capture the growing push-back against one-note comedians shooting films strictly for their friends -- please end these disasters.
"It’s a Disaster"