A wacky family dysfunction farce inexplicably set in 1987 Buffalo, Poundcake is one of those indie comedies that attracted a better "name" cast than it deserves.
Co-writer Troy Hall stars as Robby, a long-haired DJ on a Buffalo rock station, a guy doomed to blowing a "Night Train" whistle into the mike on the graveyard shift and fielding calls from listeners who tell him he "sucks." He has just ditched his fiance, derailing their planned wedding. Joining the family for Thanksgiving (Kathleen Quinlan plays mom and Jay O. Sanders is dad) doesn't improve his attitude. Dopey brother Chuck (Kevin Logie) still lives at home, videotaping an exercise video that no one will want. And there's also the profane adoptive sister Brooke (Deshja Driggs).
The set-piece comic moments an extended argument in a Chinese restaurant, Thanksgiving dinner with Brooke's obnoxious one-armed Realtor boss (Rob Bogue) aren't funny enough. The edgy turn the story takes is just wrong. And the film stumbles into its few big monologues - a marriage giving out, a burst of self-awareness or two.
It's not terrible. But if the script were better, we might not mind how little like a real radio station Robby's 103.3 FM appears to be or how fake the one-armed man's hook is.
Screening at: 8:45 p.m. Monday, March 30, Regal; 7 p.m. Thursday, April 2, Regal.
Poundcake: 2 of 5 stars
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