Released 02/06/2015 Rated: R
This is another movie whose trailer I first found on YouTube. I had forgotten about it, actually. I was in the library, going through their very small V section of movies (for my 2017 challenge) because I wasn’t very interested in watching Vampire Academy, and then I saw this. It’s been probably two years since I saw the trailer, and all I really remembered was that Ryan Reynolds hears his pets talking to him, but sometimes you just have to take a semi-blind leap.
Jerry is an upbeat guy working in the shipping department at a bathtub factory. He’s maintaining his apartment in the renovated bowling alley, he’s going to therapy, and he openly talks to Mr. Whiskers and Bosco…his pets. Things are going great, especially when he falls for, and pursues, Fiona from accounting. But when she stands him up on their date, things begin to take a dark turn in his life. Like Mr. Whiskers telling him the only time you truly feel alive is when you kill something.
It’s definitely an original story, something we don’t get too many of these days. And it was actually really good. Light-hearted story telling mixed with a good look into the mind of someone with a mental illness.
Bosco, the dog, provides Jerry’s good and innocent side, whereas Mr. Whiskers, the cat, provides Jerry’s darker, more instinctual, side. The scene where he’s in the bathroom talking with Bosco and Mr. Whiskers about what to do after Fiona, is him processing what’s going to happen next. Bosco encourages Jerry to tell the truth to the cops, and everything will be fine; “you’re a good guy, nothing’s going to happen.” And then Mr. Whiskers counters with the fact that he’s going to go to jail, and scares him with what the other inmates are going to do. Two very extreme ends of the spectrum, but this thought process is completely normal.
What I really liked was the distinction between the world Jerry inhabits, and the real world. The only place we get to see this variance is in his apartment, but it really hits home that he views his world differently. We first see his apartment the way Jerry sees it, very neat and tidy and simple, with lots of space everywhere. Then he takes the pills that are supposed to help him, and we see everything the way it actually is. He’s got lots of boxes and garbage bags, albeit, neatly stacked against an entire wall of his living room, his sink is full of dirty foil pans that are starting to grow. There’s dog shit in the corner, probably from not being home that one time to let Bosco out. Also there’s blood everywhere from chopping Fiona into several small containers, and her head is in the fridge. He sees all this, and what does he do? He runs from it. He immediately washes all the pills down the drain, because he can’t handle it; he can’t live in that state or with what he’s done. At least when he’s crazy, he isn’t alone.
You really feel for Jerry. You want him to be liked, and happy, and get the girl. Especially when you see what he’s been through with his dark past. That’s what good story telling does. It makes you feel for characters that you otherwise probably wouldn’t.
If you like dark comedies, find this one and give it a try.