You Can’t Force Funny: Our Review of ‘Donald Cried’

Posted in Movies, Theatrical by - March 17, 2017
You Can’t Force Funny: Our Review of ‘Donald Cried’

Just because you can make a movie…doesn’t exactly mean that you should.

From the hateful, deadpan school of comedy like Jody Hill and Danny McBride which do at least generate some self effacing laughs; Donald Cried is a sad excuse for celluloid which only serves to highlight how people often get uncomfortable returning to their hometown after a long absence.

Peter Latang (Jesse Wakeman) left working class Warwick, Rhode Island to reinvent himself as a slick, Wall Street mover and shaker, looking to put a past that he’d rather not relive behind him.  Fifteen years later, when he’s forced to return home to bury his Grandmother; he loses his wallet on the trip. Stranded, the only person he can think of to help him out is his next door neighbor and former childhood friend Donald Treebeck (Kris Avedisian). Donald hasn’t changed a bit, and what starts as a simple favor turns into a long van ride into their past.

Much like a return to your home town after a long absence, Donald Cried was sad, a little pathetic and barely registers as funny going out of its way to be as awkward as it possibly can be.

Writer/Director/Executive Producer Kris Avedisian is championed by the likes of David Gordon Green, Jody Hill and Danny McBride who also serve as producers on this project.  While I’ll admit that I have never been a huge fan of this kind of style of comedy, this almost feels like they are all trolling the audience because it just feels so hatefully awkward and uncomfortable.

I can only speak for myself, but watching 87 minutes of these uncomfortable characters interact with one another was the equivalent of watch paint dry, that was painted their by the world’s slowest painter.  It just went around, and around, and around going nowhere.  It’s a time capsule of character’s caught in what they thought and perhaps hoped that they would never be.

Avedisian shoots a passable tale about dealing with the memories of the past and how we are either in denial about still living in them or just want to avoid them, but the problem is that none of these characters give us as an audience even the remotest inkling of being divested in the story (whatever it may be) that is trying to be told.  There’s just no structure and it’s very laisse faire kind of writing.  The direction isn’t great and both these characters are more than a little underwritten because quite frankly they are barely there.

I started this review immediately after watching the movie…and even I am having trouble remembering this bland lifeless effort that wants us to love and respect it so much.  It screams indie and needs to stay that way as no one in Donald Cried should be doing anything other than wiping away the tears of shame for being involved in this project.  This is the worst example of indie filmmaking that is catering to a very niche audience with its rough brand of humor.

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David Voigt is a Toronto based writer with a problem and a passion for the moving image and all things cinema. Having moved from production to the critical side of the aisle for well over 10 years now at outlets like Examiner.com, Criticize This, Dork Shelf (Now That Shelf), to.Night Newspaper he’s been all across his city, the country and the continent in search of all the news and reviews that are fit to print from the world of cinema.
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