Valley Film Festival:
My Life With Morrissey
am a fan of gay British Mope Rock. Yes, I enjoy Morrissey,
pompadour, gladiolas, and all. When I saw My Life with
Morrissey on the schedule of the Sonoma Film Festival,
I knew I had to see it. I couldn't make the showing, but director
Andrew Overtoom was kind enough to send along a screener to
the Fanboy Planet offices. Roommate Ryan and myself threw
it in before SmackDown! and gave it a watch.
of pre-warning would have prepared me for the weird world
I entered as soon as we started the viewing, and frankly,
it probably would have lessened the impact. My Life With
Morrissey is the most bizarre descent into madness that
any filmmaker has ever attempted.
is a little too close to real life for some folks I went to
Santa Clara High with: career girl Jackie (played by Jackie
Buscarino) is obsessed with Morrissey, and after an out-by-the-dumpster
encounter with Moz (played by Jose Maldonado), she constructs
a strange fantasy world in which she is dating said pop idol.
She begins to dissolve into the delusion and things spiral
out from there. Jackie's office space is stranger than any
on film before: a gaggle of evil office girls, a hyper-stressed
co-worker who needs a copy of the reports copies, a schlub
who also happens to be Jackie's office boyfriend. It goes
further over the top than most John Waters movies, only there
is a base of reality that rings through: there are people
this obsessed with Morrissey. The realism of the obsession,
right down to the passionate licking of the posters was very,
almost freighteningly real.
part had to be Miss Buscarino's performance. She went to the
limit, but also caught the nuances that were necessary to
make her seem at least somewhat realistic. It's funny to watch
her walk the curb, occasionally falling off into the flow
of traffic. She's great, and very cute. I don't mind saying
that I developed a crush on her even bigger than the one I
developed on Enid in Ghost World. I can't help but dig her.
is perfectly paced, if a little too into the realm of the
absurd for the tastes of a good deal of the potential paying
audience. The dialogue is stilted at times, accentuating the
freakishness of the moments, but also pulling me out of a
couple of moments. The best words are saved for the higher-ups
at her office. They all seem to dump on her, and they do so
in a Mike Judge way. It works, but in a way that make you
wonder where the line between acceptable and unacceptable
nuts is drawn.
it Bizarre and not just another Tennssee Williams play? Well,
it's the fact that it's a movie about Morrissey that features
not a lick of Morrissey's music. The gang of Lesbian Catholic
Schoolgirls is another. The fact that Jackie takes a tofu
hotdog deep behind a dumpster. It also fulfilled the festival
requirements for the year 2003 and featured both vomiting
with My Life With Morrissey is that it is so good as
it is, and what it is is a weird, crazy ride through a fans
obsession that actually takes the fan as the only sane character.
That's right, she's the sane one being driven nuts by the
insane world around her combining with the pressure of her
own obsession. Every other character has something they do
that's truly nuts. All Jackie ever did was talk to her posters
and fantasize that her vibrational aid was the Crying Man
of us have not talked to an inanimate object or fantasized
in the Sharper Image while riding Zone 5? It's an interesting
turn around that only becomes apparent once you've gotten
deep into the movie.
And yes, director Andrew Overtoom is a director for SpongeBob
SquarePants, and Tom
Kenny, the voice of SpongeBob, also plays a record store
clerk in the film. I was quite surprised that I recognized him,
but a Fanboy is always prepared to say "Hey, it's that
guy!" It must be nice to be able to fall into a project
as darkly odd as this on the off-times.
all, I enjoyed it. There was a lot going on, and it was the
darkest humor I have ever come across. Brilliantly paced,
smart as commentary, and very well shot, My Life With Morrissey
is a film that you should search out.
and try to hold on until September for the DVD release, which
will include a short doc called 10,000 (Morrissey) Maniacs.
Overtoom's next project, the mystery-shrouded "Marvin
Schlomo's Hollywood Neighborhood" is a strange comedy
currently in the works. I'm excited, as I think his is a voice
that could produce some darkly comedic work.