Three friends plan to pull off a simple robbery and go on the run. (IMDb)
An average city simply filmed is the perfect setting for the outrageously funny escapades of a few friends (among them the Wilsons’ geeky Anthony–see his tagging along with his motel maid crush–and excitable ringleader Dignan–see his 75-year plan) acting out their romanticized idea of a life of crime (“On the run from Johnny Law…”), planning heists, wearing jumpsuits, etc. The motel middle act sags slightly, but a wacky caper (the absent-minded Kumar is a highlight) climaxes the film well.
An estranged family of former child prodigies reunites when their father announces he is terminally ill. (IMDb)
Enjoyably quirky narrated character set-ups lead into a melancholic family reunion drama artistically crafted (memorable costumes and an excellent soundtrack stand out) but saturated with so much deadpan dialogue that it gets a little tiresome at points. Not all of the characters connect (Raleigh is inconsequential; Eli feels out of place) but Royal is a strong lead in his flawed quest for redemption, and Chas (see his guard let down; “I’ve had a tough year”) and Richie eventually hit home too.
Having both coincidentally cheated death on the same day, estranged twins reunite with the possibility of mending their relationship. (IMDb)
The screenplay here is fairly formulaic in structure as far as indie dramedys go, with cycles of music-video scenes of personal reflection or vague comedic resolve following those of conflict. That said, its execution is excellent (thanks to wonderfully genuine performances from Hader, Wiig, and Wilson), its central relationship unique (i.e. non-romantic), and its subject matter darker (albeit resolved in a disappointingly easy ending) which set it a step above many of its genre counterparts.