Film Review: A Bad Idea Gone Wrong

Endearing performances are the linchpin of this slight but sweet comedy of errors.
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Slackers Marlon (Matt Jones) and Leo (Will Rogers) have been pals through thick and thin, the low point being Leo's breakup with fiancée Jessica—it's been five years and he's still moping around like an abandoned puppy. The fact that she's married and living in a big house in a fancy gated community with her successful husband is just the curdled icing on the heartbreak cake. That, and the fact that she never even had the decency to return the engagement ring Leo gave her.

So Leo and Marlon come up with an idea while riffing on Pulp Fiction in their favorite diner. Jessica and her husband are away on vacation (Thank you, Facebook!) and Leo knows where she hides the spare front-door key (yes, in one of those fake rocks)—so why don't they just let themselves in and rob the place? Leo only wants the ring, but there's bound to be a bunch of rich-people stuff they could steal, and some extra cash is never a bad thing.

Marlon figures out how to get them past the gate and Leo lets them in: Let the complications begin! The fact that Marlon manages to arm the house alarm is a distinct hitch in the get-in/get-out-quickly-and-quietly plan, but the real problem is the girl napping in one of the bedrooms. That Darcy the house-sitter (Eleanore Pienta) isn't exactly as advertised comes as no huge surprise, but Darcy, Marlon and Leo have a lot of getting acquainted to do before they can figure out how to find the engagement ring and get out without getting caught.

A Bad Idea Gone Wrong is a trifle, but it's a sweet one that coasts on the chemistry between Leo and Marlon (all right, just call it a bromance): Pienta's Darcy is the brisk splash of cold water their goofy guy hijinks need to keep from being cloying. First-time feature writer-director Jason Headley brings a light touch to this featherweight comedy—to call it a caper picture would be to overstate the crime aspect of the plot—and its quirky details never overwhelm the whisper-thin plot. It's the kind of movie that shines brightest when discovered by accident: The less information you have going in, the more likely you are to be seduced by its quirky charms.

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