Inventory (2011) – By Matt Barry

Inventory is a slacker comedy taking place at a furniture store. The premise of spending a day at work with a group of slackers is immediately reminiscent of Kevin Smith’s Clerks. The film follows this eclectic and eccentric group around on inventory day at their store. The employees are paired off to count inventory, which of course they put off getting done. They do, however, discuss everything from religion, sex, relationships, work, and everything else in between and in the process get to know each other a little better. They finally realize they must join together and count the inventory to save their manager’s job before the deadline.

The problem with a film like this is that it is carried entirely by the performance and dialogue – neither of which in this case are strong enough to carry the film for its duration. The performances are generally uneven, and the dialogue lacks the necessary wit to sustain the comedy over nearly 90 minutes. Perhaps the basic premise would have been better served in a short film format, where it could be boiled down to its best lines. The pacing picks up a bit better toward the end but, ultimately, at an hour and a half, it simply feels too long.

This isn’t to suggest the film is without charm. The characters are likeable enough, with Chris Holliday as Barbara, the store manager, a particular standout in the cast. Dennis Hurley as Percy is another strong cast member, turning in a good comic performance. The film has a fun soundtrack, as well. There’s quite a bit of music – jaunty pop tunes that play throughout – that establish the right tone for the movie.

Inventory is a pleasant enough comedy, but never quite reaches the level of energy or inspired wit that is needed to sustain the material for the duration of its running time.

The film is directed by Justin Fielding, and comes from Castparty Films. For more information on Inventory, go to: www.inventorymovie.com.