Sam Nussbaum: a man, set to be married next week, who suffers from a strong case of cold feet.
In Douchebag, a strong dramatic feature by director Drake Doremus, we get to see what can happen when a guy, about to be married, meets up with his brother whom he hasn’t seen in over two years. The end result was supposed to be entertaining, and to a degree it was. But in all the places where it could have excelled, it fell flat, leaving little to be desired in the lives of either Sam, or his brother, Tom.
For starters, the film is plain. Shot on a minute budget, I anticipated less in terms of on-screen antics. What I did expect however, were some good performances from our leading stars, Andrew Dickler and Ben York Jones. Instead, all I got was a half-hearted attempt to make you believe that what was happening on screen was really the result of two rival siblings interacting after over two years of separation. Trust me, it did not happen.
Throw in the fact that neither actor really connected well with me and the actions that did take place seemed forced and out of place, and the film really had little going for it early on. I rarely laughed, and often found myself turned off by what was happening – never a good sign.
I admire Drake Doremus’ directing style, but it didn’t come out well here. His Slamdance entry last year, Spiller, starring Matthew Lillard, was by far a better representation of both his writing and directing skills. It is a shame that it didn’t get a shot at the Sundance audience.
As it is, Douchebag is nowhere near audience ready. While I would go for an entirely new cast, I really do believe that it is the script that is most lacking. The drama is too light, and there isn’t enough witty dialogue to interject into the down moments to make the feature strong from start to finish. I hope that Doremus finds distribution for this project as I respect his work and talent immensely; however, this film doesn’t seem to be the ticket to exposing that talent to the awaiting movie-going world.