Jazz, film, and improvised culture.
Slamdance ’15: Clinger
would be a shame if Fern Petersen’s brief high school romance with Robert
Klingher were to hold them both back. In Petersen’s case, she hopes to attend MIT,
whereas Klingher needs to move onto the next spiritual plane. Yes, he is dead
and not loving it. It is also rather awkward for her too in Michael Steves’ Clinger (trailer here), which screens
during the 2015 Slamdance Film Festival.
Klingher first asks out Petersen, it looks like they have the makings of a cute
couple. Unfortunately, Klingher doesn’t know when to crank it down and go with
the flow. Exhausted by his over-eager attention, Petersen has resolved to
break-up with him, but a mishap with his latest guillotine-like Rube Goldberg
love contraption renders the question tragically moot—or so she assumes.
turns out the decapitated Klingher is not ready to move on. He also wants to
keep dating. As her “love ghost,” only Petersen can see Klingher. However, it
turns out her mysterious track coach was once an exorcist. She wants no part of
Petersen’s paranormal business, but might have some reluctant advice to offer.
Clinger might not be blazingly
original, but it deftly juggles multiple forms of gross-out humor while
maintaining a good heart. Perhaps the film’s vibe is best illustrated by
Petersen’s best friend, the Evangelical Moe Watkins, who is constantly
inadvertently blurting out the raunchiest things in perfect innocence. Yet, the
film never feels like an attack on her faith.
we’re all just getting older here in the Slamdance press corps, but Clinger’s principal cast-members all
really do look like high school kids. As Petersen, Jennifer Laporte is
appealingly down-to-earth and admirably comfortable with the film’s chaotic style
of comedy. Vincent Martella’s Klingher is an appropriately nebbish sad sack,
but Shonna Major really shines through as the deliriously sweet-tempered
might not generate the most buzz in Park City,
but if you just want some raucous genre laughs, it delivers. In fact, it is
quite a welcome palate-cleanser amid all the hype and noise. Affectionately recommended
for fans of horror and teen comedies, Clinger
screens again this Thursday (1/29) at Treasure Mountain Inn, as part of
this year’s Slamdance.
Labels: Ghost movies, Slamdance '15