Director: Dave McCary.
I didn’t know anything about Saturday Night Live’s latest talent, Dave McCary’s main feature debut; not even when the certificated title popped up on the screen as it was a surprise screening and there’s another level of joy exploring a film you know absolutely nothing about. It’s the very reason I name my blog Spoiler Alert, because at it’s core, any review or synopsis read prior to watching can influence and spoil the overall enjoyment of a film.
Saying this, it’s difficult to talk about this film without imposing a particular ideal or influence on people who haven’t seen it yet. So, to get a similar experience to my own, I’ll suggest to stop reading now and just go watch this film. It’ll be worth it. But for those of you that can’t wait, too intrigued and simply don’t care, then carry on.
I was immediately transported back to my childhood, with the film opening quite surreal, and there was a moment where I was questioning myself, what the hell was I watching? Is this what the whole film is like? But it sets a perfect foundation for the rest of the story. We follow James, a grown man who’s been hidden away from the rest of world with only a children’s program being his only education.
This makes James an interesting character, almost as if he was raised as a joke, I did struggle to take this seriously and at one point thought it a parody of how Room could have ended. But, once over that hurdle, the film blossoms into something original, funny and incredibly sweet as we share James’ childlike interactions with the rest of the real world for the first time.
He makes new friends without sacrificing his obsession for his childhood television program, still not coming to terms with Brigsby Bear being a fictional character but soon becomes the main focus as James and friends embark on making a film about the bear which leads him on a road of self discovery.
It’s touching, sentimental and strangely empowering; reminding us how life is just one big adventure and we’re all heroes of our own stories. It’s almost symbolic of the people behind the camera, with director, writers and star dreaming up this story together way back in middle school.
Mooney is perfect as James and the supporting cast are brilliant, especially Kinnear’s sympathetic cop. It’s put together really well and David Wingo does a great score being very dreamy and suits the film perfectly.
Basically, this film is dope as shit, it’s the new Napoleon Dynamite of this decade and I want his t-shirt so bad! It’s uplifting, insightful and the feel-good movie of the year. It’s a must-see.
Running Time: 9
The Cast: 9
Job Description: 10
The Extra Bonus Point: 10 for something not totally original but still very fresh and makes you feel good about being alive.