About 20 minutes into The Take Out Movie, I started fantasizing about an appearance from The Colonel, the Monty Python character played by Graham Chapman who would burst into the middle of sketches and demand that they be stopped because they were getting “far too silly.”
It’s not that I wasn’t warned. What else would you expect from a movie that opens with the onscreen announcement “Based on the real facts of a fictional true story”?
The Take Out Movie is 74 minutes of comic ideas premised on a minimal plot idea it pays very little attention to: in order to join a fraternity, two young men (Jeremy Sless, Nick Grace) are sent to the house of a young woman (Alexandra Miles), and the one who can get her out on a date will be the winner.
Very little of what happens has to do with the plot. Our antagonists clean the world’s dirtiest cat box, compete comically at various suburban lawn sports and share an uncomfortable nude modeling session. There is much snarky repartee and discussions of the outmoded nature of pickling, how great it would be if you could tell from people’s accents what they were into sexually, the morality of declawing cats versus neutering them, and genitalia – lots of stuff about genitalia.
There are also two lengthy fight scenes that are sometime remarkably inventive: unless you’re a martial artist, there really aren’t all that many ways to punch or kick someone. No fight coordinator is credited, so presumably it was the work of Andrew Simonian, who also wrote, directed and edited this. Doing most of the jobs himself helps explain how he was able to bring the whole thing in for $3500.
It’s all very Seinfeld-esque, or like those scenes in Quentin Tarantino movies filled with chatter that has nothing to do with the story. The small cast is certainly committed to the project, which is essential to this kind of humor. After awhile, the actual quality of the jokes takes a back seat to the general madcap spirit of the movie. It probably helps to see with an audience, as attested to by the large number of film festival awards Simonian and company have harvested.