Virgil Films // 2013 // 87 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Brett Cullum // September 26th, 2013
A very commercial comedy.
Adan Kundle (Bruce Greenwood, Star Trek) is an advertising CEO who wakes up in a hospital and can suddenly only speak in slogans and catchphrases. Nobody at his firm seems to know him, and he appears to have no family or friends to claim him. So in walks Karen Hilridge (Parker Posey, Waiting for Guffman), who decides to take him home for a week until he can be transferred to a proper facility. She is a single mom who struggles with her rebellious teenaged daughter (Allie MacDonald, House at the End of the Street). So they decide to take in this stranger who is also the target of the evil man who took over his company in his absence. Of course he helps to bring the family together in a way they never expected, even though all he can really do is spout gibberish from ads.
Imagine a man who can only talk in catchphrases such as "Have it your way!," "Hey Mikey! He likes it!," or "See the USA in a Chevrolet." This is a one-joke premise that wears thin, but not for the reasons you would think it would. The cast actually carries the thin plot pretty well. Bruce Greenwood plays the subtle emotions behind every jingle he spits out, and it kind of works as an elegant form of communication. Parker Posey is charming as always, and she does an admirable job of believing in the situation enough for us to buy it. The rest of the cast is just fine and suitable for the roles they are given. Where And Now a Word From Our Sponsor falters is there is not enough story here or sharp satire for anybody to cut their teeth on. The comedy is gentle, the drama is light, and it all just kinda meanders along until it is over. There's nothing to make the narrative spin on its axis, nothing to make us think very hard. We don't know Greenwood's character at all, and Posey's is so generic that she would leave no impression were it not for the actress playing her.
Virgil Films gives And Now a Word From Our Sponsor a barebones DVD without so much as a trailer on it. The 1.78:1 standard def transfer if fine, and I didn't notice any problems with color or clarity. The Dolby 2.0 Stereo track works fine with this comedy since it is all dialogue and rarely anything else. There are no bonus features here, forcing the film to stand on its own.
Fans of Parker Posey and Bruce Greenwood should find that they manage to tread water here, but the plot is about as thin as the commercials that are constantly referenced. I suppose this flick is trying to say something about our society and how we communicate and treat each other. That's all well and good, but it has no teeth. The satire is lost, and the premise wears out its welcome since we are unaware of the man inside the shell. He may spout taglines, but we have no idea why this happened. We have no idea what is hiding in there. Is there a good man? He seems like one. Still, we never truly find out, except that the climax which offers a mild "turn the other cheek" handshake resolution. The commercial guy rides off in the sunset, having touched the lives of those around him.
Do we care? Should we? Nope. You'd be better off meditating on the softer side of Sears or fantasizing about what Flo from Progressive would do to you alone at night.
Guilty of making the mistake of being far too commercial for its own good. Can you hear me now?
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Scales of Justice
Studio: Virgil Films
* 1.78:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
Running Time: 87 Minutes
Release Year: 2013
MPAA Rating: Not Rated