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  Brewster McGee Do You Suppose I Could Buy Back My Introduction To You?
Year: 2000
Director: Ross Munro
Stars: Brent Neale, Don Ackerman, Reid Edwards, Corey Turner, Melanie Mitchell, Suzanne Mah
Genre: Comedy, DramaBuy from Amazon
Rating:  8 (from 2 votes)
Review: Oliver (Don Ackerman) has just been dumped by his girlfriend and is feeling pretty sorry for himself. He works as assistant manager at a Chicken Hut fast food restaurant, and his manager is of the opinion that his work is suffering, especially as the toilet paper is disappearing from the rest room: another reason Oliver can't shake his mood. Outside, two of Chicken Hut's best customers are finishing off their "drive thru" meal; boorish Brewster McGee (Brent Neale) is offering his philosophy on life to his mild friend Malcolm (Reid Edwards), and planning on adding Oliver to their circle of two...

Written by the director Ross Munro, Brewster McGee was a tiny budget black comedy that perhaps intentionally drew comparisons with Clerks - both shot in black and white, both consist mainly of people in conversation, both divided into parts, both pull in a few pop culture references to add a few hooks of recognition. Taking place in a dead end world that must be familiar to aspiring film makers, his film is nowhere near as funny as the Kevin Smith cult hit, but has a nice line in sardonic observation, with its characters all desperately needing friendship but going about obtaining it in totally the wrong fashion.

Brewster is overbearing and constantly talking, letting his only friend Malcolm in on his innermost thoughts whether they're worth hearing or not. As they sit in the Chicken Hut parking lot, Brewster reminds him of the importance of friendship and how you "ain't worth shit" without it, in a bullying way to keep Malcolm under his thumb - he doesn't like being interrupted, either. Spying on the staff and other patrons of the restaurant through binoculars, he imagines one customer receiving a blowjob in his car to tell Malcolm about, then spies Oliver being picked on by his boss and a new plan forms in his mind. Neale is excellent in the title role, domineering but too idiotic to be threatening, while Edwards makes a good impression as the meekly polite Malcolm; the rest of the acting is typically earnest indie fare.

Brewster has decided on an innovative way to make his fortune: invent a catchphrase that will be used on T-shirts, baseball caps and bumper stickers, a bit like "Where's the Beef?" in the eighties. Unfortunately for the naive Brewster, his catchphrase is "Son of a Fuck", which he says he has gone to the trouble of applying for a patent for, but you learn early on not to trust much of what he says. Never mind that, because more pressing matters are at hand, that is, recruiting Oliver, and so it is that the hapless assistant manager joins the two misfits in their car for a pep talk to help him get over his ex.

While in the car, Oliver's ex turns up on one of the phone in advice shows on the radio that Brewster loves to listen to, and sounds like she's having a much better time without him. But never fear, because Corrina, one of Oliver's workmates, has taken a liking to him. This means that Oliver is no longer interested in Brewster's company, and Brewster doesn't like that one bit. His trouble is that friends to him are people who are there to feed his ego, so he picks up the lonely and dissaffected and practically forces them to listen to his loudmouthed, ill-informed opinions. At the end, his pathetic nature is confirmed, and while it's dramatically satisfying, you're left with a feeling of listlessness. But at just an hour long, the film manages to make two people sitting in a car chatting absorbing enough to be worth their company, even if you wouldn't want to meet Brewster in real life. Music by Bruce Munro.

[The special edition DVD includes a trailer, a Spanish language trailer which may or may not be a joke, and a good commentary from director Munro and star Neale which features everything you'd want to know about the film and packs in as many references to Citizen Kane as possible.]
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

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