A dizzying day two of The Waterfront Film Festival is now in the books, and thankfully, there was much to appreciate from what is shaping up to be one of the best slates in festival history.
First up was the shockingly disarming and charming Somebody’s Hero. Despite a cliché-filled plot and some ham-fisted dialogue, the indie romantic comedy is an absolute gem of a film, and thankfully, for those interested, there is a full review up on the site (HERE). It’s one that will be as crowd pleasing a film as you’ll likely see all year.
Next up was the wrestling documentary, Sadermania. Following the story of Chris Sader, a once young wrestling fanatic turned right hand man and best friend to the icon of icons, Hulk Hogan. Through the film, director Adam Gacka is able to tell a story of a friendship defying class and social strata, all with the entertainment factor found within the sport that Sader became addicted to following long nights spent watching professional wrestling with his sister and late father. However, the film is admittedly flawed. Very much without anything resembling a narrative arch, we are told repeatedly that Sader is a great guy, and while there are hints of dark moments in his life, we are always kept at an arms distance, even in the face of emotionally charged moments, like Chris visiting his father’s grave. A deeply inspirational film, it almost plays as a tad too sweet and syrupy, instead of coming off as a more intimate self help piece. Overall, it’s really one note, but it’s so well made, charming and brazenly entertaining that this is, like Hero, going to be one that crowds absolutely flip their lids for.
Finally, I got the chance to finish off the evening with a very special showing. I had the wonderful chance to check out the last film from director Gary King a while back, a film entitled What’s Up Lovely, and it automatically made him a name I had to watch. Well, his latest film, a complete shift from anything he’s ever done, the indie musical How Do You Write A Joe Schermann Song, may very well be one of the most interesting musical’s I’ve seen in quite some time. Telling the story of a musically inclined couple, the film looks at their relationship, and how physically, they are the most faithful couple around, but artistically and creatively, well, the same can’t be said. A deeply rewarding, and intellectually stimulating look at how finding inspiration and creativity in someone else may be an even more personal and affecting part of an artistic relationship than anything else, HDYWAJSS is utterly fantastic. Save for a few oddly toned flights of fancy, the film finds King at his most playful, while also at his most inventive and introspective. Featuring top notch performances, the film, like most musicals, suffers from a palpable length, but thankfully, you’ll be hard pressed to find a film more enjoyable and more worth your time than this wonderful find.