Gentlemen Broncos (2009) starring Michael Angarano, Jennifer Coolidge, Jemaine Clement, Halley Feiffer, Héctor Jiménez, Mike White directed by Jared Hess
I will be the first to admit when it comes to comedy my sense of humour is relatively main stream and often struggle with movies which are off beat which is why part of me was not expecting much from "Gentlemen Broncos". Ironically whilst completely daft, disjointed and not really by any stretch of the imagination a good movie "Gentlemen Broncos" ended up entertaining. The simple craziness combined with the likeability of Michael Angarano makes it entertaining to the point that you just end up watching for the daftness rather than what happens.
Benjamin (Michael Angarano - Sky High) is a sci-fi fan and for years has been writing his own stories whilst being home schooled by his mum. When the opportunity arises to go to Cletus festival, a workshop for writers Benjamin goes and gets to meet his idol, sci-fi writer Chevalier (Jemaine Clement). Whilst there he also meets Tabatha (Halley Feiffer), a writer of romantic fiction and Lonnie Donaho (Héctor Jiménez) an independent movie maker. But everything starts to go wrong because not only does Chevalier plagiarize Benjamin's latest story after he entered in a contest but Lonnie turns it in to a dire independent movie and it seems that everything he has been working for is being taken from him.
I'm not sure whether it was intentional but "Gentleman Bronco" in style reminds me of a home made movie, the sort where a teenager and his friends decide to make a movie of one of their own stories. It has that strange disjointed and highly embellished quality so there are times when the story just doesn't flow, going off on tangents whilst the quirky characters become really quirky. Add to that the cold, odd and sparse locations where it looks like they have filmed scenes on the sly in department stores at the end of the day. It strangely works because it feels like director Jared Hess has tried to capture the style of a young film maker but one with better equipment and a budget to get a few well known faces.
Get beyond the actual quirky style and "Gentleman Bronco" kind of lost me, not in the fact it has some complex narrative but because all too often it went off on too stranger, off beat tangents for me. The actual story is both simple and simply amusing as Benjamin has to deal with not only a crap film being made of his story but a famous author ripping it off as his own work. But because "Gentleman Bronco" is all about the quirky it does get side tracked by just being off beat be it visualizations of Ben's book or his mum's friend Dusty and his blow pipe. That won't make much sense unless you watch the movie and to be honest even then it probably won't make much sense yet strangely it may amuse you.
And that is the strangest thing about "Gentleman Bronco" because whilst a mess it is strangely amusing even for someone like me who's sense of humour veers more towards mainstream. I can only put it down to the likeability of stars Michael Angarano and Jennifer Coolidge because this mother and son are nice enough to allow you to warm to them. And so whilst they may have some quirky scenes and quirkier fashion and food tastes including popcorn sculptures you enjoy watching them.
What this all boils down to is that "Gentleman Bronco" is a curious movie which I actually think ended up exactly how director Jared Hess wanted. But it is strange; almost low budget on a movie budget with quirky humour and a disjointed style which makes it strange yet strangely enjoyable. It's not great by any means but as a collection of quirks from characters to styles it is worth checking out at least once.