Ever had one of those days where you can’t do right for doing wrong? Unemployed actor Mark (Mark Doherty) is definitely having one of those days. Mark and his best friend Pierce (Dylan Moran) are withholding their rent until something is done about the abysmal flats they live in, but when the landlord Jack (Keith Allen) comes around to fix things, it is too little too late. Mark’s brother David (David O’Doherty) has already been killed by a freak accident involving a chandelier, Jack is accidentally stabbed by his own screwdriver and Mark’s girlfriend Sally meets an untimely end when she faints too close to an unguarded clarinet stand. It is up to Mark and Pierce to try and come up with a story that is as convincing as the truth is unbelievable.
A Film With Me In It was released in cinemas in 2008 without much fanfare, but this is the thing; it is one of the best Irish films in years. There is no hint of the drug scene that so thoroughly dominates the majority of Irish films, instead the joke in this blackly humorous film is that sometimes things go wrong… Very wrong.
Most of us will be able to identify with living in a flat that is less than perfect and struggling with landlords to get it fixed up, and this is the joke in the film. Mark has been dodging eviction for several months with the proviso that the landlord fix the rattling chandelier, the flickering light fixtures and the window that closes whenever it feels like it. The house is a death trap… No exaggeration.
There is a great chemistry between Mark Doherty and Dylan Moran. Doherty is operating on a level that goes beyond shock. He is numb, and is only capable of hiding under the duvet. Moran, on the other hand, is the right amount of panicked to balance out his on screen companion. Moran also gets a genius twist in the plot; he is screenwriter, so tries his best to figure out the situation as though it were a script he is working on.
The film is just funny enough to balance out the fact that four people die in freak accidents in one night. A Film With Me In It could very easily go down the route of every horror movie ever by having one of the survivors turn on each other, but trying to find a story that will keep them out of prison keeps the two on the same side, and the final accidental death unites them in their fight to escape being punished for something they did not do.
It’s a shame David O’Doherty did not have one line in the film – not one! – but this hardly detracts from a film that is as funny as it is twisted and dark. A Film With Me In It is a movie that many of us may have missed in the cinema, but it is definitely worth tracking down on DVD. Dylan Moran is on rare form in this well scripted black comedy that proves sometimes accidents happen.
A Film With Me In It is available now on DVD and Video on Demand (www.volta.ie)