Review

'A Wonderful Cloud' works well in an L.A. full of oddballs

The new on-the-fly amateurism in micro-budgeted filmmaking may be exhilarating for the artists involved, but it isn't always so pleasurable to sit through; and yet director-star Eugene Kotlyarenko's Los Angeles-set comedy "A Wonderful Cloud" has a welcome tang to its slapdash fringe-iness.

Kotlyarenko and melancholic indie darling Kate Lyn Sheil play exes who dance around their cross-purposes when she flies from New York to Los Angeles to stay with him for a few days. Kate (real names were used) wants Eugene to sign paperwork that leaves her the clothing business they started but she's maintained and grown, while floundering, motormouth goofball Eugene has rekindling on his mind.

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Inspired by the fact that Kotlyarenko and Sheil once were a real-life couple, "A Wonderful Cloud" is at times unrepentantly silly with its scatological/sexual humor, manic aimlessness and coterie of malfunctioning L.A. oddballs, which include a sex-crazed neighbor (Vishwam Velandy) and an unstable artist friend (Lauren Avery). Whenever the larkishness thins, though, Sheil — who could easily have modeled her face for Modigliani — grounds it all as a young woman torn between dissecting a mistake and accepting a responsible future.

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"A Wonderful Cloud."

No MPAA rating.

Running time: 1 hour, 20 minutes.

Playing: Laemmle Playhouse 7, Pasadena.

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