Melanie Lynskey Month continues—long may she reign!
Where to Watch:
The Uncondensed Version:
Shonzi is a young man who loves making films, staging doll and puppet shows, adopting a Fonzie persona, and annoying his brother. He also happens to be developmentally disabled, living with his father, and spending too much time thinking about his brother Todd’s girlfriend (played by Queen Melanie).
With ML all set to meet the family, Todd is a nervous wreck who feels she is not adequately prepared to deal with some of Shonzi’s lewd tendencies. Having little interaction with women, Shonzi frequently objectifies them and fails to recognize when he says something inappropriate.
ML and Todd initially have fun working on Shonzi’s movie, but he takes things too far when he films the two in a private moment. While ML is upset, Todd is actually kind of into it–at least the idea of making a sex tape. ML is pretty quick to shut this down.
As it turns out, the relationship between ML and Todd has its share of problems. ML is still in the process of going through a divorce, and started dating Todd before her marriage was over. She is still keeping their relationship a secret to a large degree, causing tension between them.
Things get even more complicated when Todd’s dad has a heart attack, prompting Shonzi to move in with the couple. As ML gets a better picture of Shonzi’s attitudes towards women, she decides to spend time with him making a film so he can get to know at least one woman better.
Inspired by a viral clip, ML and Shonzi approach the subject of cat calling, interviewing several women about their experiences and reactions in a segment they call Rainbow Time. Just when ML seems to be making a breakthrough, the two interview Justine, a developmentally disabled woman whom Shonzi dismisses and calls ugly.
Shonzi continues to spy on ML and Todd until finally ML has had enough. She decides to take a break from Todd as she’s never really had time to herself. Frustrated with his brother, Todd pawns Shonzi off on another family member. When a confrontation goes horribly awry, the police are involved, and no one believes Shonzi’s side of the story. Will the family be able to bounce back after this episode?
2/5 Pink Panther Heads
Is it horrible that I felt the message of this film was that disabled people are just like everyone else—they can be huge pervs too. I appreciate that the intention was to humanize Shonzi rather than make him a simple, naïve child-like figure who occasionally spouts out sage advice, as Hollywood is wont to do. But the film took things a bit too far in the other direction IMHO, and he just ended up seeming creepy, gross, and not particularly likeable.
More than this, though, the film isn’t particularly memorable, and it gets boring in places because there’s no real opportunity to emotionally connect to the characters.
The highlights are the films Todd and Shonzi make together, and it seems like the actors are genuinely having fun at those times. The segment ML and Shonzi do together as Rainbow Time is nice too, and I expected it to recur in the film (and was somewhat disappointed when it didn’t). Maybe that’s just the influence of Welcome to Me?
Our girl ML shines as usual, and Timm Sharp has a nice grungy Jason Schwartzmann vibe going on.