It takes a certain amount of courage to put out an independent comedy. People have certain expectations when it comes to the genre, and they watch with a hypercritical eye. And that was my attitude going into Laid Off, a film about two guys that get let go from their corporate desk jobs and decide to use the severance pay to bankroll a summer of debauched slacking. The premise alone made my judgmental heart flutter.
But, and maybe it happened when I realized that the film had a Weekend at Bernie’s-esque male duo, I was absolutely pulled in and thrown for a yeah-you-jerk-this-is-a-fun-movie loop. Mike Lagante (C.J. Moebius) and Jimmy Ryan (Michael Ryan) were outstandingly natural in their roles as the recently let go pair, and the supporting cast was one of the best I’ve seen in an independent film in a long time.
The story of Mike’s decline into a bitter drunken stupor was quite enjoyable and the realistic situations grant the film a higher level of relevance than most other attempted comedies. The best example of this is the painfully accurate portrayal of the nine-to-five torture that so many of us face. The awful co-workers, the hours spent on Google Chat and a glut of employers that ranges from psychotic to anal to grossly inappropriate.
I was also impressed by the casual tone of the dialogue, and it’s clear that co-writers John Launchi and Michael Ryan have a firm understanding of the generation they’re speaking to. Lines like “just wiki it,” references to Saved by the Bell, and a healthy helping of general nods make the movie a great little time capsule.
If you have a free afternoon, a six-pack of brew and a couple of friends, I say go for Laid Off. Head over to laidoffthemovie.com for more information and to watch the trailer.