A healthy dose of Coen brothers/David Lynch larceny courses through the noir-tinged bloodstream of “6 Dynamic Laws for Success (In Life, Love & Money),” a playful screwball crime comedy that doesn’t quite manage to squeak by on its goofy style.
If the title sounds as if it could have graced the cover of a ’60s self-help paperback, that’s the intention — only in this case the book in question happens to be encoded with penciled-in clues that could lead to the location of $2.4 million in cold, hard cash stashed away following a bank robbery.
New to the treasure hunt is one Ulysses T. Lovin (Travis Swartz), a sad-sack, soon-to-be-divorced, former used car salesman who would (literally) kill for a fresh lease on life, but he’s not alone in the quest for the elusive loot.
Filmed in Idaho, predominantly in crisp retro black-and-white, by director-writer-cinematographer-editor Gregory Bayne, the low-budget production makes the most of its throwback, alternate-universe milieu, while Swartz and his fellow cast members, especially Ross Partridge and Jennifer Lafleur, are clearly enjoying feasting on their pulpy parts.
But in the absence of more intricate, involving plotting, the tongue-in-cheek characterizations and eye-catching production design only take things so far, and the novelty begins wearing off well before that dog-eared copy of “6 Dynamic Laws” reveals its final chapter.
‘6 Dynamic Laws for Success (in Life, Love & Money)’
Running time: 1 hour, 32 minutes
Playing: Starts Friday, Arena Cinelounge, Hollywood