My Dead Boyfriend movie full length review - The story is Primo!
*Very Minor Potential Spoiler* 7.3 Stars. This is a film based upon a novel.
It's 1999 in New York. Our leading lady is an apathetic yet flaky woman who is leaving an office building where she has just been fired from her job as a temp. She isn't affected by it much, it's an inconvenience and it seems she's no stranger to getting fired nor quitting.
She comes home and tells the lounging silhouette of her jobless boyfriend Primo all about her day before eventually realizing he's stone dead. While the remote still rests in his hand, she nonchalantly presses a button to change the channel before she calls authorities who question her. We learn she's been in a relationship and living with her boyfriend for 6 months, but that it wasn't a relationship she considered serious. Neither party was particularly invested.
The next day, Mary and her best friend Zoe have a chance encounter with an art dealer who was romantic with Primo in his college days. The art dealer reveals Primo to have been someone completely different than the aimless, loser boyfriend she'd found dead in her apartment. He's an acclaimed writer and artist?! He went to college?! He actually had a romantic connection with another human?!
With piqued curiosity and graced with ample free time, Mary sets out to learn more about the dead boyfriend she never cared to know. Sordid and bizarre facts are discovered sometimes by pure chance, other times from candid tales shared by the very peculiar people Primo had been involved with during his life.
Mary begins to feel vested in something and no longer so indifferent about her dead boyfriend, nor about her own life as this wacky, twisted story unfolds.
Heather Graham stars as Mary, and although Heather is 46 years old she portrays a woman who is 26-32 and does it so well that I did a great deal of fact checking to convince myself that this was not a film that was actually shot in the late 90's/early 2000's. The filmmakers certainly could've gotten a 29 year old star for the role but their casting decision could not be more perfect. Graham was the late 90's/early 200's IT GIRL, and that made this somewhat nostalgic movie even more appealing. Everything was set perfectly to the time period, the fashions, the music, the technology and scenery, the dialogue and overall energy.
The film is billed as a comedy, I didn't find anything worthy of uproarious belly laughter but I stayed amused and chuckled out especially near the ending. There were more attempts at humor than were being conveyed, still I enjoyed it. There are a few sequences where we see into Mary's creative imagination and bizarre little scenes play out either of her past or of her dead boyfriend performing ridiculously. These didn't contribute much.
As is the case with many books-turned-movie's, the driving force is good storytelling that engages the audience. We not only learn a lot about the quirky characters in this story, but we have good fun in the process and are sent for a few dizzying loops.