NBFF 2016 Review: Show Business

show businessIf you are going to pay homage to Woody Allen, you better be sure everyone is on board to do the same thing. Writer/director/composer/star Alexander Tovar wears many hats for his film Show Business, but it felt as if he had a little bit of a tough time managing all of them to completely nail what he was going for in this Hollywood farce about a writer getting his shot. That does not mean the film was unenjoyable, but the light-heartedness of the film did seem to extend a bit far with some of the cast.



Tovar stars as Guy Franklin, the recent winner of an award at a short film festival in Los Angeles, who is suddenly given the chance to adapt a best-selling teen fiction novel. With the minor fame and a bit more cash in his bank account, Guy and his girlfriend Cassandra (Amelia Meyers) move to LA and try to make something of it. Problems arise pretty quickly, as Guy struggles to even get through the book he’s supposed adapt, while also dealing with the pitfalls of him and his girlfriend living with LA culture.

There’s no mistaking this film as the product of a filmmaker having seen and admired lots of Woody Allen films. The Guy character is an anxiety-ridden New Yorker, with a penchant for responding and conversing with sharp quips. There is nothing wrong with this, but finding the balance with the other characters eventually started to take me out of the experience. Much of the cast works fairly well or better with the dialogue, but a few did seem to be playing their roles in too broad a sense.

Show Business does have a way of playing it tone up as an old fashion screwball comedy with a lot more expletives and in that regard, it is easier to take in the mild satire being presented when the film riffs on meetings with people in (or around) show business. While dialogue-driven, there are some fun moves with the camera and in the editing to provide a sort of energetic feel to the proceedings. The same goes for the handling of the drama.

Obviously, ‘fun’ is not quite the way to characterize these moments, but Show Business does do well for itself when it settles down a little and provides a chance for the weight of certain situations to sink in. The film is heavy on the farce, so we do not linger too long with the sadder moments, but it helps to find the film not totally outside the realm of being serious.

Thanks to the clever dialogue and general attitude of the picture, Show Business ends up being too enjoyable to put down for how effective it is at completely nailing the style. It also tells a fun and complete story that would feel personal if it was not so rooted in fantasy. For a little film about a little writer trying to make it big, there is enough to admire.

show business

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