Haiku Tunnel is a Damn Good Movie.
It doesn't involve anyone wearing spandex or leather, or flying, or shooting lasers from their eyes, or explosions, or any of the things I normally seek in a movie. But it was still a Damn Good Movie, worthy of Capitalization.
I picked it up in the rental store because it had a strange name. The cover had a picture of the starring comedian -- Josh Kornbluth, Neurotic Adventurer -- up to his nose in paperwork, with "An Office Comedy" stamped across his face in black ink. I'd never heard of the movie, or Josh Kornbluth, but I was feeling experimental so I figured "What the Hell?"
It was definitely worth renting. It features neither Tunnels nor Japanese Poetry (Though I'm sure we could find Haikus if we dissected the dialogue). It chronicles a hopeful novelist as he moves from being a Temp Worker to a Permanent Secretary (or "Perm"). He does very well his first day, as a Temp, and then everything kind of spirals out of control. There are many fine "Thank gawd I'm not That Guy" moments as you watch his priorities crumble in his inept hands.
It seems to be based on my ex-boyfriend's life. The last man I dated looks (except for the hair, my ex has a full head of hair, and a somewhat fuller stomach) and behaves precisely like the main character in this movie. He even had the same job -- Temp. Only he went onto permanent work at a charitable organization. Our Mr Kornbluth works for the Prince of Darkness, a Partner at the law firm Schuyler & Mitchell (S&M).
I didn't realize this parallel until halfway through the movie, when I stood up and yelled at the screen "Hey! I've dated that shiftless, lying bastard!"
This wasn't an abrupt change for me, as I had spent most of the movie yelling at the screen. In fact, as the movie wore on, I found myself yelling progressively worse insults at the main character:
"Why don't you just mail the stupid letter!"
It naturally enhanced the overall experience to leap to "Ex-boyfriend!"
But, of course, that's my idea of fun. (This is why, when I lost a bet a few years ago, my friend Joe was able to sit next to me at the A-Con Hentai Festival, without losing any body parts. Because the entire night was just an excuse to yell rude things at the screen).
To be honest, the only thing more enjoyable than yelling at the show, is throwing things at the show. If you see me in the Audience at a live performance, Enter at Your Own Risk.
But, of course, this is Frowned Upon In Polite Society, so I tend to stick to rentals. And occasionally, I find a funny one.
And this was a beautifully funny one, blissfully devoid of sappiness and moralizing -- without sinking to the crude level of Frat Boy Entertainment. A refreshing film in today's comedic landscape. And, just when you think there's no possible way for the movie to be better -- A They Might Be Giants song!
I think I'll watch a second time. Coincidentally, this DVD contains a preview for the Tao of Steve, which was also a surprisingly good movie that I picked up on a whim in the rental store. However, that one didn't feature any character types that I myself have dated.