Reviews - Specialty Releases


Film Review: And Now a Word from Our Sponsor

Despite appealing performances, this comedy suffers from its derivative premise.

May 9, 2013

-By Frank Scheck


filmjournal/photos/stylus/1376758-And_Now_Word_Md.jpg

For movie details, please click here.

Its press notes describe And Now a Word from Our Sponsor as “in the spirit of Being There,” but there’s a fine line between homage and rip-off, which this feature debut from Zack Bernbaum consistently crosses. This tale of a mentally damaged ad executive who speaks only in advertising slogans has its offbeat charms—mainly thanks to the appealing lead performances from Bruce Greenwood and Parker Posey—but its one-joke premise wears thin very quickly.

After collapsing in front of a battery of television screens displaying commercials, high-powered advertising agency owner Adan (Greenwood) wakes up in a hospital, communicating only through such familiar catchphrases as “You deserve a break today” and, in one particularly applicable to his own situation, “Sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you don’t.”

When charity worker Karen (Posey) comes across Adan, whose seminar she once attended, she takes pity on his situation and impulsively agrees to take him in for a few days. This doesn’t go over well with her teenage daughter Meghan (Allie MacDonald), with whom she has a contentious relationship.

Meanwhile, the newly beatific Adan reluctantly finds himself in a battle for control of his ad agency with its ruthless president Lucas (Callum Blue), who hopes to exploit his boss’s mental condition for his own advantage.

The film’s chief conceit is that Adan’s sound bites are seamlessly integrated into the dialogue in often amusing ways. Offered cereal for breakfast, he naturally asks “Got milk?” Confronting Meghan’s overly sexually aggressive boyfriend, he inquires, “Have you spoken to your doctor about erectile dysfunction?” And, shades of Chauncey Gardiner, his aphorisms are sometimes taken for deep wisdom, such as when a presidential candidate he meets in a restroom decides that Adan’s repeated utterances of “Can you hear me now?” would make the perfect campaign slogan.

Even more predictable are the life-changing effects that Adan has on those who come into contact with him, such as the mother and daughter who find his soothing presence spurring them towards reconciliation.

The ever-reliable Greenwood somehow manages to find the charm in his addled character, while Posey displays her trademark appeal as the beleaguered caretaker. But their strong efforts can only go so far in preventing And Now a Word from Our Sponsor from lapsing into hopeless silliness.
The Hollywood Reporter


Film Review: And Now a Word from Our Sponsor

Despite appealing performances, this comedy suffers from its derivative premise.

May 9, 2013

-By Frank Scheck


filmjournal/photos/stylus/1376758-And_Now_Word_Md.jpg

For movie details, please click here.

Its press notes describe And Now a Word from Our Sponsor as “in the spirit of Being There,” but there’s a fine line between homage and rip-off, which this feature debut from Zack Bernbaum consistently crosses. This tale of a mentally damaged ad executive who speaks only in advertising slogans has its offbeat charms—mainly thanks to the appealing lead performances from Bruce Greenwood and Parker Posey—but its one-joke premise wears thin very quickly.

After collapsing in front of a battery of television screens displaying commercials, high-powered advertising agency owner Adan (Greenwood) wakes up in a hospital, communicating only through such familiar catchphrases as “You deserve a break today” and, in one particularly applicable to his own situation, “Sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you don’t.”

When charity worker Karen (Posey) comes across Adan, whose seminar she once attended, she takes pity on his situation and impulsively agrees to take him in for a few days. This doesn’t go over well with her teenage daughter Meghan (Allie MacDonald), with whom she has a contentious relationship.

Meanwhile, the newly beatific Adan reluctantly finds himself in a battle for control of his ad agency with its ruthless president Lucas (Callum Blue), who hopes to exploit his boss’s mental condition for his own advantage.

The film’s chief conceit is that Adan’s sound bites are seamlessly integrated into the dialogue in often amusing ways. Offered cereal for breakfast, he naturally asks “Got milk?” Confronting Meghan’s overly sexually aggressive boyfriend, he inquires, “Have you spoken to your doctor about erectile dysfunction?” And, shades of Chauncey Gardiner, his aphorisms are sometimes taken for deep wisdom, such as when a presidential candidate he meets in a restroom decides that Adan’s repeated utterances of “Can you hear me now?” would make the perfect campaign slogan.

Even more predictable are the life-changing effects that Adan has on those who come into contact with him, such as the mother and daughter who find his soothing presence spurring them towards reconciliation.

The ever-reliable Greenwood somehow manages to find the charm in his addled character, while Posey displays her trademark appeal as the beleaguered caretaker. But their strong efforts can only go so far in preventing And Now a Word from Our Sponsor from lapsing into hopeless silliness.
The Hollywood Reporter
Post a Comment
Asterisk (*) is a required field.
* Author: 
Rate This Article: (1=Bad, 5=Perfect)

*Comment:
 

More Specialty Releases

Tracks
Film Review: Tracks

Ably supported by Adam Driver, Mia Wasikowska commands the screen in John Curran’s superbly photographed drama based on a true story. More »

Hollidaysburg
Film Review: Hollidaysburg

Well-observed, empathetic look at friends reuniting over their first college break. More »

The Zero Theorem
Film Review: The Zero Theorem

A noisy, hyperkinetic, visually gorgeous spectacle that tackles the mother of all big questions–the meaning of life—Terry Gilliam's latest is sometimes frustrating and occasionally outright goofy, but it's never dull. More »

Art and Craft
Film Review: Art and Craft

Documentary portrait of the artist as a disturbed man, but one who is overwhelmingly endearing, functioning and talented—and whose métier happens to be art forgery. This smartly produced and constructed art-themed art-house entry delivers a canvas of caper, comedy and delightful curiosities that engage and provoke some serious thought. Like the hero’s forgeries, it deserves a close look. More »

ADVERTISEMENT



REVIEWS

The Maze Runner
Film Review: The Maze Runner

Youths try to break out of a deadly maze in the latest young-adult doomsday thriller. More »

This is Where I Leave You
Film Review: This Is Where I Leave You

Siblings bond, fight and face new problems after the death of their father in an ensemble dramedy based on the best-selling novel. More »

Player for the Film Journal International website.


ADVERTISEMENT



INDUSTRY GUIDES

» Blue Sheets
FJI's guide to upcoming movie releases, including films in production and development. Check back weekly for the latest additions.

» Distribution Guide
» Equipment Guide
» Exhibition Guide

ORDER A PRINT SUBSCRIPTION

Film Journal International

Subscribe to the monthly print edition of Film Journal International and get the full visual impact of this valuable resource for the cinema business.

» Click Here

SPONSORSHIP OPPORTUNITIES

Learn how to promote your company at the Film Expo Group events: ShowEast, CineEurope, and CineAsia.

» Click Here