Exploring the lives of eight frozen dinner collectors, uncooked mockumentary NBT is funny in premise only. Shawn heads up the Mesa Frozen Entrée Enthusiasts Club and also fronts a Chirstia band. His frozen food club includes members ranging from an abstinence hot line operator to a gay fireman, whose lives lack meaning other than to track down Hungryman dinners.
Mockumentary is a tricky genre to master with Christopher Guest the most commercially successful mockumentarian out there. His memorable mocks like Waiting for Guffman and Best in Show succeed in sucking you into their crazy sub-worlds, whereas NBT’s sub-world just sucks. Without the reliability of physical comedy and the social relevance of satire, mockumentary falls flat if the characters self consciously ridicule themselves. NBT pokes fun at characters that are at their core one-dimensional and whose quirks are simply amplified into banal hyperbole.
Director Sean Anders (who also plays Shawn in the movie) and writer Chuck Levinus not only attempt to skewer geek-oid fanboys, but try to tackle more serious issues like abortion, religion and homosexuality, but to no avail. Not only does Anders try to take on too many targets, he fails to say anything interesting about them. Opens October 7 at Cinema Village 1L