Hits (2014) Sundance UK 2014

April 22nd, 2014
Author: Meredith Taylor

Director/Writer:  David Cross

Cast: James Adomian, Lorenzo Beronilla, Joseph Bevilaqua, Matty Blake

96min   Comedy Drama  US

Known for Arrested Development, David Cross’s dark comedy debut explores the cult of celebrity in the YouTube generation and the unrealistic expectations it engenders.  Set in Liberty, a small town in upstate New York, a series of deluded and embittered characters struggle to make a living.  Dave Stuben (Matt Walsh) spends his days haranguing the local council over his civil rights. His daughter Katelyn (Meredith Hagner) is desperate for fame as a singer and will do anything to appear on ‘The Voice’, an X-Factor-style programme.  When Dave’s angry outbursts appear on YouTube, a local friend and drug peddler (an older-looking Michael Cera) decides to show them to his client Donovan (James Adomian) who mashes them up on a video that goes viral.  The fallout is predictably hilarious, but it’s the comedy performances and well-formed characterisations that make this piece consistently enjoyable, much in the same way as John Morton’s BBC outings 2012 and W1A.  Cross slightly loses control of his material in a feature that often feels chaotic and overwrought. A tighter rein on the bitter outbursts would work in its favour; that said, HITS conveys its message cleverly as a worthwhile piece of 21st century satire. MT




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