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Danny Roane: First Time Director

Posted by gnn1 on Saturday, 3 November 2007

I have to be honest.  I’m not an Andy Dick fan.  Of his work or of him personally.  Everything I’ve ever read about him indicates he is as personable as a pissed off skunk.  But I tried to keep an open mind going into the film.

First the synopsis provided by Lionsgate and/or M80 marketing:

After his drunken antics ruin his acting career, Danny Roane (Dick) decides to stage a comeback by sobering up and directing his own movie. Everything goes as planned until Roane suddenly falls back to his partying lifestyle while trying to finish his film about drug and alcohol abuse. Off the wagon and under pressure, Roane spirals out of control while his movie – and his career – sinks to new and unexpected lows. Danny Roane: First Time Director originally aired on Comedy Central in August 2007.

The film is presented as a documentary, following Danny (Dick) through the process of making his first feature film, Dəd Drēm (pronounced Dead Dream).  We learn early on that Danny is sober 4 years and that he’s very tightly wound (a nearby clock’s ticking-not heard by the viewer-drives him crazy).  The documentary follows him securing a producer for the film, going through preproduction and, mainly, filming.  Scenes from Dəd Drēm are inter-woven with the documentary.

In order to appreciate this film, you have to understand it is a farce.  As in

A light dramatic work in which highly improbable plot situations, exaggerated characters, and often slapstick elements are used for humorous effect.  []

It mocks life, film-making, and probably even specific people within the business.  Unfortunately, Americans don’t typically understand or appreciate farce, so this movie has gotten (and will get more) crappy reviews.

I have to say, there was one set of lines that caught my attention, over all the others.  I am (ironically, as the woman who asked me to review this didn’t know it) a substance abuse services major at school.

‘You don’t see it when you’re in the thick of it.  It’s like a hurricane of alcohol and drugs, and I’m in the eye of that hurricane.  Everything seems calm to me…’

Those words are probably the perfect example of how things are for an addict.  I think it’s clear that Dick, while NOT in control of his own personal issues, has an understanding of addiction (at least, if it’s true that he did indeed write this).

I suspect the movie is at least somewhat autobiographical for him.

So-overall, should you see this movie?  Yes.  IF you like this farcical humour.  If you like SNL, Will Ferrell, and Mad TV, chances are you’ll enjoy this movie.  If you typically end up staring blankly at any of the above, or shake your head in disgust… well, probably not the movie for you.


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