Rating: 2.5 out of 5 (okay)
An Evening with Beverly Luff Linn follows Lulu (Aubrey Plaza) as she leaves her husband Shane Danger (Emile Hirsch) and forces drifter Colin (Jermaine Clement) to track down her old paramour Beverly Luff Linn (Craig Robinson).
Existing in a 1980’s netherworld of strangeness, An Evening with Beverly Luff Linn’s endearing off-kilter humour in the first act recedes into a ceaseless assault of strangeness upon the viewer. At worst the film equates randomness to actual whit as the cast gesture and utter nonsense like an improv group of teens who watch too much Monty Python.
The flickers of genuine deadpan humour in An Evening with Beverly Luff Linn is a sinking buoy as the film plunges into uncomfortable depths of oddness. Charming at the beginning, this film is knowingly constructed to be as awful as possible for lack of having anything better, or funnier, to deliver. An Evening with Beverly Luff Linn’s artificial awfulness is driven with a conviction that the viewer will either laugh or be branded a fool.
The film’s own reliance on its visceral strangeness is a substitute for any plot. Beginning well when focused on unhappy wife Lulu, the story becomes a feigned tangle of overlapping love triangles once the cast reach the town’s hotel. Scenes uncomfortably tread water as one oddball extra after another appears before the main cast until the designated time for wrapping up the story.
The cast clearly enjoyed making An Evening with Beverly Luff Linn, as it is they who rescue the film from being diabolically bad. Aubrey Plaza and Jermaine Clement naturally gel given their past work on FX’s Legion, but it is Jermaine who comes across as the king of weird out of the pair. Clement exudes a vulnerability that you have when you are deemed strange by those around you, while Plaza just plays the strange type. Matt Berry and Craig Robinson are shamefully underused but Emile Hirsch shines as Shane Danger. Danger is a coffee shop manager who has watched too many Dirty Harry films and has forgotten that he is a little man. Half menace, half man-child, Hirsch endears as a character who seems more complex those around him. Danger, acting as a bungling trio with his two employees, become the best part of the film.
An Evening with Beverly Luff Linn will likely become a cult classic in the ensuing years, but that will be a cult I never sign up to
By Saul Shimmin
For the trailer, see below;