The freewheeling, DIY quality of “Lost Holiday” works both for and against this quasi-caper comedy. Although the Super-16mm-shot film from writer-director brothers Michael Kerry Matthews and Thomas Matthews coasts on ragtag charm and bits of gutsy spontaneity, deepening the story and characters, plus throwing in at least a tad more logic, would have helped — without killing its mumblecore-style vibe.
Margaret (Kate Lyn Sheil) and Henry (Thomas Matthews) are old high school friends now living in New York who return home to the Washington, D.C., area for the Christmas-to-New Year’s week. After reuniting with two other local pals — Sam (Keith Poulson, who gets lost in the shuffle) and Mark (William Jackson Harper), Margaret’s ex-squeeze now tenuously engaged to be married — Margaret and Thomas fall into some very amateur sleuthing to solve a kidnapping plot involving a wealthy land developer’s wild-child daughter (Ismenia Mendes), a heavily tattooed drug dealer (Tone Tank) and a volatile record producer (Joshua Leonard).
The surly Margaret and perpetually giddy (and rather annoying) Thomas, often fueled by drugs, booze, boredom and a kind of louche integrity, prove a hapless but intrepid pair of criminal hunters. Meanwhile, they navigate a push-pull with adulthood that adds some thematic dimension but never plays out enough to fully humanize our privileged, narcissistic protagonists. And what’s with all those finger-gun gestures? Sorry, not cute.
Running time: 1 hour, 17 minutes
Playing: Arena Cinelounge, Hollywood