Sundance London 2018 Review – An Evening With Beverly Luff Lynn (2018)

It’s fair to say that out of all the films you see this year, whether at a festival, on your electronic device or just at the local multiplex, you’ll be hard pressed to find something as unique as Jim Hosking‘s An Evening with Beverly Luff Lynn, a movie which any way you slice it is bizarre to the nth degree and then some beyond that. But with so many superheroes and franchises marching through every other week it, maybe it’s a timely reminder that we should embrace something so wildly different and almost undefinable?

Then again, those familiar with Hosking’s previous film, the hilariously-titled yet ridiculously horrid The Greasy Strangler may have second thoughts upon learning such a fact but that’s something of a disservice to the filmmaker’s distinct gifts and with Luff Lynn he goes someway towards a redemption in that there are some genuinely funny moments through this film’s crazy shenanigans which are as follows: the titular Lynn (played with typical coolness by Craig Robinson) is a performer of a top-secret nature and is performing his show for “one magical night only” at a downtrodden hotel with his partner (Matt Berry).

Getting wind of this is Lulu (Aubrey Plaza in full Plaza mode, which here is a good thing), a former flame of Lynn’s and desperate to see her long-lost love once more and through a series of events involving her husband (Emile Hirsch channelling a super-manic Jack Black) and a heist, has the avuncular “hitman” Colin (a show-stealing Jermaine Clement) in tow. It would be easy to say this is when things start going absurd but frankly, it’s absurd from the very start.

For the most part, it will fly over many heads. It works sporadically thanks to its brilliant cast who could reenact Battlefield Earth or Batman & Robin and make them a million times better but they embrace the frivolity and madness that surrounds them with real gusto. Plaza and Clement are a real joy as a pairing – producers take note and give them something else – and the tangled web of love their characters find themselves in is really quite charming.

This really is a curate’s egg of a film, bizarre in the extreme, and will appeal to a certain audience but this is a step up for Hosking’s as a filmmaker even if it doesn’t quite work through its overlong runtime. Still, thanks to some winning turns from his cast, there’s definitely something to be discovered here – just don’t expect to bust your gut laughing.

Scott J.Davis | ★★1/2

Comedy | USA, 2018 | 15 | 3rd June 2018 | Sundance London 2018 | Dir.Jim Hosking |Aubrey Plaza, Jemaine Clement, Emile Hirsch, Craig Robinson | [Buy Tickets]

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