Many films torture their characters (e.g. the Saw series; I Spit on Your Grave). Drew Denny, a truly beautiful woman who has written, helmed, and stars in this semi-lesbian road trip, has decided instead to scourge the audience with directorial incoherence, an abysmal screenplay, inane antics, and incessantly showing off her ultra-white teeth. At times, you’re not sure if you are watching an exploration of two women’s lives or the world’s longest Crest commercial.
The Most Fun I've Ever Had with My Pants On, an adaptation of Ms. Denny's 2011 performance piece, a heartfelt tribute to her late father, chronicles the journey of Andy (Denny), a randy, immature lesbian traveling about various scenic parts of America, including Yosemite; White Sands, New Mexico; and West Texas, to scatter her dad's ashes piecemeal. Accompanying her is her attractive, straight, childhood friend Liv (Sarah Hagan), an infantile actress with limited talents who's getting ready for a film audition. Ms. Hagan, with her voice of a ten-year girl and her two facial expressions, inhabits the part perfectly.
Amidst Will Basante’s sumptuous camerawork, we get to view the ladies shoot fireworks at each other, walk a dog, wear a T-shirt with "Big Whup" on it, eat with their mouths open, shoplift, swim bare-breasted, drive and walk around a lot, plus ask, "Do you think Joseph Smith was schizophrenic or just a really good actor?"
All the time, we are waiting for Liv to break down and admit she has the hots for Andy. That will probably occur in the sequel in the works, The Most Fun I've Ever Had with My Pants Off. Instead, we get Liv touching Andy’s breasts for a few seconds and then giggling hysterically, "Oh, they feel like Jell-O. A Jell-O jiggler."
If cast with two seventeen-year-olds, this venture might have been plausible. And to be fair, there is a poignant moment when alone in the desert, Andy plays a videotape of her dad thinking back on his life. But just when you might be ready to forgive Denny for wasting precious hours of your life, the screen turns black and white, and we get to watch Liv's film audition, which just might be one of the ten worst scenes in homophile filmdom.
(The Most Fun was screened as part of the 25th annual NewFest, the Big Apple's celebration of LGBT cinema, which this year continued to astound, entertain, illuminate, and now and then fag out at Lincoln Center.)
On a more cheery note, let's move forward to the most fun I've ever had within my slacks: it was an oral fete. I was chewing away on caramels produced by Mrs. Prindable's, a company I came across at this year's Fancy Food Show at the Javits Center. Believe me! Whether you are watching cinematic misadventures like the above offering or several superb ones from the upcoming New York Film Festival such as Richard Curtis's delicious romantic fantasy, About Time, or James Franco's brutal piece de resistance, Child of God, your enjoyment will be increased tenfold with one of these treats in your mouth. Available from Amazon or directly from mrsprinables.com; don't go another second without having experienced a Hawaiian Red Sea Salt caramel slathering your tongue, or how about a Tahitian Vanilla or an Aleppo Chili Pepper or a Vietnamese Cinnamon Apple? No wonder Ryan Gosling has avowed, "Sometimes I think that the one thing I love most about being an adult is the right to buy candy whenever and wherever I want." But there are sweets and then there are sweets. Mrs. Prindable's are the latter. (And if you are at her site, check out her Milk Chocolate Walnut Pecan Jumbo Caramel Apple. It'll last a whole feature, and maybe two.)
- Brandon Judell
Mr. Judell is currently teaching "Theatre into Film" and "The Arts in New York City" at The City College of New York and is Coordinator of The Simon H. Rifkind Center. He has written on film for The Village Voice, indieWire.com, the New York Daily News, Soho Style, and The Advocate, and is anthologized in Cynthia Fuchs's Spike Lee Interviews (University Press of Mississippi) and John Preston's A Member of the Family (Dutton). He is also a member of the performance/writing group FlashPoint.