Thursday, February 20, 2014

Two Girls, a Guy, and a Couple of Little White Pills: "Wild Girl Waltz" (2012)

A virtually plotless film that scores more laughs than some mainstream "stoner" comedies.

Best friends Angie (Christina Shipp) and Tara (Samantha Steinmetz) decide to take a couple of mystery pills to get over a boring day sitting around the house (after Angie got a milkshake thrown at her while walking along a road). The pills give them the high they wanted, and they enlist Brian (Jared Stern), who happens to be Tara's boyfriend and Angie's brother, to hang out with them. The trio drive around their small town, still bored.

Yup, that's pretty much it, yet writer/director Mark Lewis lets his cast score some big laughs. I have never been much of a stoner comedy fan (the allure of Cheech and Chong escapes me to this day), but Shipp and Steinmetz are so naturally funny before and after they pop the pills. We get to see a few other characters (a guy who owes Brian money, a hunky bartender who Angie flirts with), and we get to experience the small town boredom Angie and Tara are feeling. This isn't deep, navel gazing comedy, and Lewis does pad the film with a little too many driving scenes. Not all the laughs hit, too, much like when your "funny" friends get drunk or high.

The three leads have a chemistry that is pretty astounding. Shipp, Steinmetz, and Stern are natural together, and Lewis lets them do their thing. I don't know how much of this was improvised, but the goofiness of the women's high is almost natural.

Lewis keeps things small and intimate, and therefore successful. "Wild Girl Waltz" isn't as wild as you think it will get, but it is funny enough to recommend. For more information, visit their www.wildgirlwaltz.com website. (* * * *) out of five stars.