Multiple SarcasmsOverview -
Gabriel Richmond has it all – a great career, a devoted best friend and a loving wife and daughter – then why is he so miserable? To figure it all out, Gabe writes an autobiographical stage play to help reveal what matters most and maybe find the love that was right under his nose all along.
Storyline: Our Reviewer's Take
It's been said that sarcasm is the lowest form of wit. This doesn't bode well for a movie that promises plenty of it with a title like 'Multiple Sarcasms.'
Gabe should be happy. He's got a great wife, great daughter, great best-friend, and a great job. Thing is, he's not happy. Gabe mopes around with a scowl and a hunch in his back like he's two seconds from keeling over. Why is he so unhappy? We don't know. He doesn't even know. He wants to write a play. That's his dream. Only it seems his play must come at the expense of everyone else in his life.
Gabe is the most annoying narcissistic character in recent memory. Watching him wallow in his own self-loathing for 90 minutes is one of the worst movie watching experiences I've had this year. Timothy Hutton ('Leverage') usually a fine actor, finds himself playing a character who's infinitely unlikable. His selfish, me-first demeanor grates on you from beginning to end. He doesn't stop until he's ruined his entire life, every relationship he's ever known, just to write his play!
Did I mention he writes his play solely on a toilet with a typewriter? Yes, he's such a tortured artist that his time in the commode is spent writing his play. Give me a break! When his play finally gets picked up and produced the poster advertising the play features a typewriter on a toilet, and you can't help but think writer/director Brooks Branch thought pretty highly of the whole toilet writing.
'Multiple Sarcasms' is a slog to sit through. It's got all the calling cards of the overly pretentious art-house flick. Black and white photography, indie music playing in the background while characters curl up in corners with cigarettes and wine thinking about life, montages of quickly taken photographs as the months drift by. We're supposed to be feeling something right?
Gabe bulldozes his nice life in order to fulfill his selfish fantasies. Isn't there a better ending (like a hail of gunfire unloaded in Gabe's direction) more suited for this moronic character rather than the happy horse-crap ending we get?
You almost feel sorry for talented and beautiful actresses like Mira Sorvino and Dana Delany being stuck in scenes with this good-for-nothing loser. It's times like these where I find myself saying "Seriously, that guy is getting women like that? Really?"
In the end you get the feeling you've just been fed a shovel full of manure by Mr. Branch, and he insists it tastes like a well cooked steak. This is one of the most unlikable movies I have seen in years. The story is unpleasant and Gabe is a nightmarish character who warrants you rooting against him instead of for him. He's a moron of epic proportions deserving nothing in the way of a successful play or a happy ending. Characters like this infuriate me. There's nothing here to like. Period!
Gabe wrote his play on a toilet. Maybe Brooks Branch wrote this movie on a toilet. Who knows. I'll tell you what I do know. I'd like to take this movie and flush it.
If the Movie Itself section wasn't an indication that you must never watch this movie, maybe I can help further the cause by describing the abysmal display that is 'Multiple Sarcasms' 1080p transfer.
The entire image suffers from a DVD-like softness. It's rampant, with errant source noise which never ceases popping up during its entire runtime. Because of the film's softness, fine detail is almost never there. A few close ups show some promise, like when the camera zooms in on the daughter's face a couple times, but other than that, there's no great detail to be found here. Crushing is a frequent offender, gobbling up faces and character in dark spaces. One point made me laugh out loud, when Gabe's black dog is sitting next to the door in a well-lit room, but all you see is a black lump on the floor. There's no definition, it's hard to tell that the lump there is even a dog!
Not much can be expected from such a low-budget film, but there's nothing in this video presentation that looks like a high-def presentation. There's nothing here that is worth looking at period!
The sound doesn't do much better than the video. The 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio presentation might as well be a 3.1 presentation, because the rear speakers are silent to such a degree that I forgot they were there, even during some of the scenes in crowded bars where people are listening to live rock music.
The movie is very dialog heavy, and at least it delivers on that front, giving us a nicely rendered dialog track that you're always able to hear. LFE is light, very light. The only time it really kicks in is when the rock bands are on stage doing their thing, but it never engages enough to be memorable like it was in 'The Runaways.' Just like the video, and the movie itself, the sound lacks any sort of memorable detail. It lacks heart and energy, leaving us flat. The most engaging part of this soundtrack is the wooshing, swooping Image logo presentation at the beginning.
- "Making of" Featurette (SD, 9 min.) – Plenty of behind-the-scenes footage spliced together with a home-movie type feeling. Interviews are placed here and there with the actors talking about how great the movie is. Riiiiight.
- Interviews with the Director & Cast (SD, 34 min.) – Included are interviews from: Brooks Branch, Timothy Hutton, Stockard Channing, Mario Van Peebles, Laila Robins, India Ennenga, and Dana Delany. Just like the behind-the-scenes featurette, everyone talks about how much they just loved this movie. Branch talks about how he put together a movie about how relationships really happen.
- Trailer (SD, 3 min.) – The trailer is included.
Brooks Branch has the gall to compare this movie to Woody Allen movies during his interview in the special features. After laughing for a few minutes, I couldn't help but think he may be somewhat delusional. Branch has managed to create one of my most hated characters ever in cinema. And this isn't a good hate like you do with extremely creepy villains, this is a hate that made me want Gabe dead. He's not even a lovable narcissist. He mopes around his life until he's managed to destroy it. Way to go man! I'm rooting for that car in the street to hit you as it passes. Man I'm glad to be done with this movie. The video and audio are also terrible. Don't bother with this one. One to avoid.
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