Somebody Up There Likes Me
EXEC PRODS Morgan Coy, Brenda Mitchell, Stuart Bohart, Christos V. Konstantakopoulos
PRODS Hans Graffunder, Nick Offerman
SCR Bob Byington
CAM Sean Price Williams
EDS Frank V Ross, Stephen Gurewitz
PROD DES George Dishner
MUS Chris Baio
PROD CO M-13 Pictures
Rich with poker-faced cynicism, Bob Byington’s tragic-comedy hops and skips over 35 years in the life of Max Youngman, so appropriately named, because after he opens a blue suitcase and is bathed in a Kiss Me Deadly-like light, he stops aging. Max is visually stuck in his late twenties, while all his relationships and acquaintances grow up around him. Not invested enough in the disruptive events of his own life to be considered a postmodern Dorian Gray, Max, as played completely deadpan by Keith Poulson, shrugs off whatever roadblocks he places in his own life-path: failed marriages, dead-end jobs, constant rejection and betrayal, and abrupt deaths.
Five-year leaps in time are connected by memorable vignettes and a catchy score from Vampire Weekend bassist Chris Baio, and Byington’s script moves things along via a trenchant, dark and deeply personal sense of humour, with a parade of hilarious non-sequiturs exchanged between Max and his best and only friend Sal (the great Parks & Recreation star Nick Offerman, also one of the film’s producers)—the kind of pal who sleeps with your wife in your pool house. “Father. Lover. Fighter. Entrepreneur” reads Max’s tombstone, and Byington’s fanciful film about a man watching his life fly by, with its two major locations being a steakhouse and a graveyard, approaches poignancy through defiantly off-kilter means. Features a guest appearance by The Color Wheel director Alex Ross Perry as a man who just wants to buy ice cream.