My Big Fat Independent Movie (January 13/06)
Despite the best intentions of all involved to turn My Big Fat Independent Movie into the next Airplane! or Naked Gun, the film instead comes off as a subpar spoof effort along the lines of Scary Movie or Spy Hard. One could easily point to the inferior performances, low-rent production values, and flimsy storyline as the cause of the movie's speedy downfall, but it'd be a lot easier (and accurate) to place the lion's share of the blame on the desperately unfunny screenplay. Writers Chris Gore and Adam Schwartz pack their script with references to various well-known independent films, including Pulp Fiction, The Good Girl, and (naturally) My Big Fat Greek Wedding, but fail to elicit laughs from their inclusion; instead of going for a witty, satirical sort of vibe, the two emphasize low-brow jokes and extremely obvious attempts at parody (ie the glowing item inside the Pulp Fiction briefcase turns out to be...a smoked meat sandwich). Even the "celebrity" cameos by folks like Bob Odenkirk and Clint Howard fall flat, although one can't help but admire Project Greenlight winner Pete Jones' self-deprecating appearance. It's easy enough to see what the filmmakers were attempting to do with My Big Fat Independent Movie - this is a genre that could stand to be taken down a peg or two - but the unrelentingly amateurish atmosphere ultimately transforms the film into a tedious mess.