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Case Number 18443: Small Claims Court

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The Truth About Average Guys

Seminal Films // 2009 // 83 Minutes // Rated R
Reviewed by Judge Brett Cullum // March 3rd, 2010

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All Rise...

Judge Brett Cullum used to prefer lies about exceptional guys...until now!

The Charge

"Honest men rarely get laid."—Dave

The Case

Independent movies just can't compete when it comes to flashy spectacle event movies, so they have to find a battleground where they can win. Surprisingly the genre in which self-funded films kill all the competition is the romantic comedy. Where major studios crank out groan-inducing sap packed with big name stars, the indie film scene has produced unique and fun spins on the tired genre. The Truth About Average Guys is a rare rom com; a chick flick tailor made for guys, which is actually pretty funny and sweet even if it has a disturbing premise.

Jason (Ken Gayton, also a co-director) is an average guy who has a crush on the hot chick in his office (Erika Walter, Creepy Jesus). He can't find any way to get to talk with her until he learns she has a mentally retarded sister. He invents a handicapped brother, and when she says they should all go out he has to produce one. So he gets his slacker roommate (Jason Schaver, the other co-director) to pose as a mentally challenged sibling. Surprise, surprise! It all works way too well, and Jason finds himself in a relationship. But the charade can't last forever and soon the hottie is going to find out the truth about her average guy.

This is the third time these guys have tried to film this project, and I suppose the third time is the charm. This film won "best comedy," "best actress," and "best of festival" at the 2009 Trail Dance Film Festival in Duncan, Oklahoma. Hey it wasn't Sundance, but it did awesome on the festival circuit. For a flick made for five thousand dollars it has a lot to offer. The script is clever, the characters are likable, and every story beat feels very real and not precious. As a romantic comedy, it works. It succeeds where the big budget Hollywood flick The Ringer completely failed.

The DVD features an okay transfer. Honestly, the film was made for a tiny budget so the picture and sound aren't the best. It looks like it was shot on the cheap with some dark scenes and muffled lines. Yet it totally makes up for that by offering well done extras. We get an informative commentary by co-directors Jason Schaver and Ken Gayton, over seven minutes of outtakes, a discussion of the history of the project, and an alternate ending. Basically you get everything you need to make sense of every aspect of the film. It could be a great primer for aspiring filmmakers who want to know how to turn five thousand dollars in to a pretty decent romantic comedy for guys.

I was doubtful about the film when I read the premise, but the clever script and informed performances won me over. This is a chick flick made for guys, and it works very well in that capacity. The result is a solid comedy that guys are gonna find funny, and girls will also giggle through. Voilà! It's the perfect date movie. The DVD is fully loaded with great extras to boot: director's commentary, an alternate ending, outtakes, and a history of the film's production. The Truth About Average Guys is an above average flick in every way.

The Verdict

Not guilty of being your typical romantic comedy; average guys should actually like this one!

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Scales of Justice

Judgment: 94

Perp Profile

Studio: Seminal Films
Video Formats:
• 1.78:1 Anamorphic
Audio Formats:
• Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
• None
Running Time: 83 Minutes
Release Year: 2009
MPAA Rating: Rated R
• Comedy
• Romance
• Romantic Comedies

Distinguishing Marks

• Commentary
• Alternate Ending
• Outtakes
• Production Notes


• IMDb

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