Cryptohedonological movie rating: B-
Hubris is an entertaining, small budget short film written and directed by Gary King. The directing and editing are amusing, if a bit stiff and stage-formal at times (except for an intoxicating and comical speed-dating montage, which was apparently improvised). Frederik Goris plays Barry, an amusing nebbish drawn into a sinister plot hatched by his obnoxious friend Jeremy, played by Jeremy Koerner. The film has a lot of potential and some of the ad hoc sets really have a neat visual effect, reminding me of my pseudo-underground jazz-lounge-hopping days in the early 90s. The basic plot and feel combine some of the classic Gen-X brat-pack elements of Swingers with the gonzo-pre-millennial hipness of Pulp Fiction and Reservoir Dogs. Mix in a little O. Henry for the “short fiction with the ironic twist” bit along with a healthy helping of dating-comedy-horror, and you have Hubris. Despite best efforts, the pacing and irony are a bit miscalibrated and the theme feels a little tired in 2007, like a movie that came 10 years too late. Nevertheless, I suggest checking out this amusing ditty if you have a chance. Be prepared to soak up the nostalgia of your own twentysomething-as-seen-as-a-now-almost-forty ubergeek dating misadventures of the heady pre-dot-com-bust 90s. Whew. But what’s the real message of the film? Don’t formulate your love life in the presense of a Satanic Garden Gnome.
Gary King and company show great promise and I look forward to seeing future projects from that crew.