I had the opportunity to watch the picturehouse release of An Evening with Beverly Luff Linn (2018) at Duke’s at Komedia in Brighton. This is the second feature film directed by Jim Hosking. He strives for a uniqueness and individuality in his films, which he has certainly achieved with this and his previous film, The Greasy Strangler (2016).
I don’t wish to spoil much of the film, but oddly enough I don’t think that a synopsis is very useful in determining whether it’s worth seeing. That being said, Lulu Danger (Aubrey Plaza) runs away with a man called Colin (Craig Robinson) from her unhappy marriage. This is all to see a one time only event starring Beverly Luff Linn (Craig Robinson), who Lulu had previous romantic ties with. Also, the slight fact that she stole money from her husband, Shane Danger (Emile Hirsch), who stole the money from her brother, Adjay (Sam Dissanayake).
This films individuality can be owed to its writing and stylisation, the so bad that it’s almost good quality with an awkward charm. This is a conscious decision on Hosking’s part. Every character is excessively odd, none of them even close to being functioning humans in real life, but this just contributes to the films goals. The closest comparison I can think of is Tommy Wiseau’s The Room (2003), with its deadpan delivery and quality. Stylistically, there is a clear 80’s influence, which you can tell by the jarring synth music with blaring horns that woke me up in the first few minutes. Most of the male characters wear sunglasses all the time, even indoors and have the worst moustaches imaginable. The costume and hair design was also incredibly well done to make this whole film feel like you’ve been transported four decades back in time. All this created a film which was entertaining, funny and subversive throughout.
Every performance was good in my eyes, but there were a couple of standouts. Aubrey Plaza as Lulu was fantastic in her role, her body language really adding to her character. Matt Berry gave a great performance as Rodney von Donkensteiger, whose delivery on all his lines was excellent.
I only have a few issues with this film. Firstly, it felt a little over-long. After what could loosely be described as the climax, the film carries on for about another ten minutes. The ending just sort of happens as the film fizzles out, not really adding anything of value. A film where the plot matters as little as this one doesn’t need to have a solid conclusion, but it was unsatisfying for me. Secondly, there was one scene where you could tell that an actor is miming the words, but not saying them for no explained reason. Finally, there is one character who feels out of place and doesn’t seem to have much of an impact on the story or comedy that drives the film. But all of these complaints are very minor and don’t stop the film being very entertaining.
Overall, I would recommend seeing this film, with the caveat that it is very strange. If you prefer traditional films in terms of structure, humour or characters this film may not be for you. Otherwise, this is a weird experience I think shouldn’t be missed.
Image source: IMDB