Review: SPENT (2017)

SPENT

Humor, as we all know, is a very subjective thing. What we find funny, and why we find it funny vary widely. This is especially true when the subject is dark or morbid humor which is an acquired taste and difficult to pull off. Which brings us to SPENT, the debut film from writer/director Lisa Mikitarian which bills itself as a charming dark comedy. How charming one finds misers, brain tumors, infidelity, and rat poison will be a big factor in your enjoyment of the film.

Herbert J. Schumacher (Nick Nerangis) is a miser, he’s also dying of a brain tumor. This has his wife Evelyn (Connie Lamothe) and son Lonnie (Darren Barzegar) spending the money he’s refused to for all these years. But when he stages a miraculous recovery on July 4th this is put in jeopardy.

SPENT 1

They and their respective love interests need to find a way to keep the money flowing. And the solution involves rat poison.,

Honestly, given the plot and self-description, I was expecting something much darker than what I got. SPENT is closer to a 1940’s farce than what I’d call morbid up until the last act. It even looks like a film from that era with many of its costumes, frequent scenes shot in black and white and the style in which much of it is shot. While it doesn’t really connect to anything in the film it does help give it a look that sets it apart from other films.

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The film is frequently funny despite some clunky dialogue and characters it was hard to like. One of the challenges in making a film like this is creating characters you, despite what they’re doing. Here they lacked the development to fully pull it off.

In the end SPENT is a film worth seeing, it does keep you entertained even if it never lives up to its potential. Lisa Mikitarian has shown herself to be somebody to watch. She has interesting ideas, she just needs to properly develop them.

SPENT is available on streaming services via Indie Rights Films.

Jim Morazzini

Movie buff, gym rat and crazy cat guy