SXSW Film ’10 — Barry Munday

Over the last several years, Patrick Wilson has had quite a bit of success in both smaller, more intimate film such as Hard Candy and larger, more special effects driven movies such as Watchmen. Not to take anything away from his earlier work (which I have loved) but Barry Munday is Wilson’s finest hour.

Barry Munday begins with Wilson playing the title character as a selfish, sex-obsessed slob with a personality that is a cross between Anchorman’s Ron Burgundy and Clerks’ Randal Graves. With a coat of sleaze three-inches thick, Barry slinks through life in a series of one-night-stands and downward gazes into women’s blouses.

Barry’s sex-drive experiences an extreme change, however, after Barry looses his testicles during a scuffle with the trumpet-wielding father of a teenage girl he was macking on during an afternoon matinee at a movie theater.

Now half the man he used to be, Barry’s life manages to sink even further down the proverbial shower drain — spending his days hobbling around his apartment and playing video games as his mother waits on him hand and foot.

Not long after his accident, Barry experiences another life-changing catalyst when a former one-night-stand named Ginger Farley, played superbly by Judy Greer, files a paternity lawsuit.

Ginger, a frizzy-haired, acidic-tempered virgin (well, at least until she was deflowered by Barry), has given Wilson’s character a newfound purpose in his testicle-free life.

Now, with a new addition to the Munday lineage quickly approaching, it’s time for Barry Munday to finally grow up and take charge of his life. But first, he has to win back the affections of his baby’s mother, a woman who would rather see Barry drop dead then for him to be any part of her child’s life.

Besides Wilson and Greer, Barry Munday has the benefit of an amazing supporting cast including Chloe Sevigny, Cybill Shepherd and Malcolm McDowell as Ginger’s family; Jean Smart as Barry’s mother; and Billy Dee Williams as Barry’s DeLorean-driving boss.

With a top-notch script, an amazing soundtrack and great performances all-around, Barry Munday is a highly recommended comedy from writer/director Chris D’Arienzo. The script is adapted from a novel by Frank Turner Hollon.

At times, the film is tonally a grown-up version of Judd Apatow’s Knocked Up yet is still prone to its moments of extreme silliness and raunchiness.

Wilson’s performance as an idiot man-child proves that the talented actor has a gift for comedy. Hopefully it won’t be too long until we get the chance to see Wilson try his hand at making audiences laugh again.

Category: Spotlight Premieres

Director: Chris D’Arienzo

Showtimes: Tuesday, March 16 at 6:56 PM at Alamo Lamar and Wednesday, March 17 at 7:15 PM at Alamo Lamar

Inside Pulse — Movies will be on the ground at SXSW! For live coverage from the event, follow Robert Saucedo and Travis Leamons on Twitter at @robsaucedo2500 and @skipkassidy.

The South by Southwest film festival will be held in Austin from March 12 through the 20th. For more information about attending the festival and the films being shown, visit www.sxsw.com/film.

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~ by robsaucedo2500 on March 16, 2010.

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