Handsome -it really isn’t! – a review

     JESUS wept! Once again, I am reviewing a Netflix film. I watch them so that you do not have to. You’re welcome. In the case of Handsome: A Netflix Mystery Movie, the only mystery is how the heck this ‘movie’ ever got made! 

    Truth be told, it feels like bullying to review this film. It is that bad. I actually have begun reviewing this film before it has even ended, otherwise, it would be totally unwatchable and I would not, in good faith, be able to review a film I have not seen.

    The film opens with, actor Talbert Bacorn (Steven Weber), exiting his pool and confessing to the camera that he is the murderer. We then meet detective Gene Handsome (Jeff Garlin), who is teaching some rookie detectives the ropes.

All the detectives are morons. One of the detectives, Burt Jerpis (Brad Morris) spins a dubious theory for what might have occurred. His superior, Lieutenant Tucker (Amy Sedaris) is, for no good reason, crazy for him. Haha, hilarious. 

    Handsome – so funny, because he’s not! – returns home. He has a big dog that he walks past his neighbour, Durante (Eddie Pepitone), who is an ex-detective and shouts out to him, accusing him of letting his dog foul his lawn. We – the viewer – are then subjected to another unfunny scene about detecting skills and introduced to his morose partner, Esta (Leah Rimini). We also find out he has a new neighbour.

    Handsome takes it upon himself to go and meet the neighbour. She is not in when he gets there, but he does meet the babysitter, Heather (Hailee Keanna Lautenbach) who is abrupt and refuses to let him into the house. The next day she turns up murdered on the lawn of Bacorn’s home.

   As Handsome investigates Heather’s murder, he finds that she was not exactly well loved or even liked by anybody. He also finds out that his neighbour, Nora’s (Christine Woods) ex-husband paid Heather to spy on her, as he is fighting for custody of his daughter, Carys (Ava Acres). 

   Okay, so Handsome eventually catches the murderer and meets Kaley Cuoco playing herself in an utterly pointless scene – like the rest of the film. He returns home to find his neighbour moving out and labouring the point that she is never going to see him again. He encounters Durante for another unfunny scene and then the film, thankfully, ends. 

    I do not even know where to start to express just how utterly dreadful this film is. Running at eighty-one minutes, this is a short film by any normal standards. Unless you are watching it. Then it becomes an excruciatingly long film. 

    Written, directed by and starring Jeff Garlin, the only positive I can see is that he gave many friends employment. If I was Garlin I would change my friends. How any of them could allow a work this inept to get made is beyond me. I have a pretty low bar for comedy. I enjoyed Pixels and the Ghostbusters remake. I am not a comedy snob.

   This film is not, by any stretch, a comedy. It is an entirely laugh-free zone. The real problem – besides the piss poor writing – is not deciding what sort of a comedy to be. It is like a lightweight saucy comedy, which is an oxymoron in itself as saucy comedic properties are inherently lightweight.

    With the exception of the child actors, the dogs, and Garlin, no actor really commits to their character. Not that they have much to work with, such is the paucity of a line worth uttering in the script.

If a YouTuber produced a comedy this bad it would get ripped to shreds in the comments, much less a production backed by the predominant streaming platform on the planet.

   Nothing works in this film. The plot is nonsense, the humour non-existent, the scenes lack any punch, it is completely unoriginal and probably at least an hour too long. The best thing in the film is a woman who is seen hoop dancing in the distance by Handsome, whilst on her front lawn, in a couple of scenes.

   This film is basically a collection of sketches that would barely make it to the cutting room floor of an SNL show. It might seem that I am labouring the point of how unfunny this film is. I really am not.

The stand out comedy-free scene is when Handsome and his team of inept detectives, eight – who I refuse to name because it really does not matter  – of them standing in a semicircle at the murder scene, come up with ridiculous possible theories as to how the killing might have happened. Jerpis again spins a ludicrous scenario that could not have been gleaned from the available evidence. What a card. 

    A bus full of Japanese tourists, doing a stars’ house tour, pull up in front of the house and then we – the viewer – are forced to read unfunny exchanges as all the tourists speak in Japanese. 

     This film is so bad it makes anyone who has any ambition of making films – me – angry. This film has production value, a massive – mostly unnecessary – cast, extras, good, competent, camera and sound. Utterly shit direction. Did I mention the unfunny script?  

     In conclusion, this film has no redeeming qualities whatsoever. Every joke misses the mark. I don’t even think the jokes can see the mark! This is a bad, bad film. 

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