Add a quarter star if: You love San Francisco.
What to do while watching:
What to eat while watching:
If you are fortunate enough to live near a video store that boasts a well-stocked "cult" section, then you may leave the blockbusters behind for a wider cinematic sophistication. Forget the professionals in Hollywood. They know what you want, and they'll pander any time. But the total absence of the mainstream movie industry is often-- in and of itself--a fascinating thing to see in a movie.
Sometimes you wind up watching something that nobody's heard of for a good reason. I'm Not Fascinating is a good example of this: lousy cinematography, piss-poor acting, rank amateur writing...this one's got it all.
Some wisenheimer named Danny Plotnick created this humorous look at a sucky rock band called The Icky Boyfriends. The film opens in a record shop where a young woman is conned into buying the Icky Boyfriends album for a buck. She plays it for her roommate, and it's downright horrendous.
Cut to three San Francisco losers waking up under their newspaper blankets and preparing their breakfast of Pepsi-scrambled eggs. They are the Icky Boyfriends, and indeed, they all have difficulties with their girlfriends. Each relationship snafu becomes an Icky Boyfriends song. The afro'd lead singer shrieks, the drummer flails, and the guitarist noodles.
After a particularly unsuccessful gig, a short-sighted rock promoter signs them, then instantly comes to realize his mistake. So he has the band members murdered, replacing them with talented musicians. The film ends with a young woman saying she no longer likes The Icky Boyfriends since they've sold out. And we all say, "Ain't that just the way?"
A comparison to Spinal Tap is natural. Spinal Tap is incomparably funnier, better-made and more universally appealing. The only place where I'm Not Fascinating exceeds Spinal Tap is in the name of the band. The Icky Boyfriends is a funnier name.
Another comparison that I find useful here is to Slacker, which also was shot in around a hip neighborhood using the friends of the director to paint a rather pointless picture of a partial zeitgeist. I'm Not Fascinating was shot in San Francisco, and as a one-time resident of that resplendent city, I was pleased to see areas that I recognized.
Other than that, this video was just so bad, it was a little bit good. The songs, behind the sonic annoyance, were funny satires, particularly "I'm Not Fascinating: The Song" and "(I'm Your) Icky Boyfriend."
There's a very funny scene (keep in mind: so bad it's a little good) that takes place at a comedy school. The teachers are instructing their moronic students on how to take a pratfall, saying that it's only funny if one leg stays up in the air. If both legs, at the end of the pratfall, are on the ground, then it's not funny. One of the teachers uses a camel puppet to do the instructing, and this camel says: "Both legs down: you're not a clown. One leg up: bust a gut!"
To Josh U.: Since you're within walking distance of Leather Tongue
Video in San Francisco, you will doubtlessly be able to rent this film
pretty easily, so it's a good thing you've read this beforehand.
©1999 by Randy Shandis Enterprises. All rights happily reserved.