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“Three Stooges meets David Lynch… Jim Hosking’s [The Greasy Strangler, NZIFF16] sophomore effort, An Evening with Beverly Luff Linn… [is] a playful and often charming blend of outré humor and genuine emotion that makes him one of the most distinctive new voices in current cinema.
The evening in question provides the climax for a series of oddball circumstances that consume the bulk of the running time. It begins with a slapstick portrait of desperation: Shane Danger (Emile Hirsch), the cafe owner in a rural town, learns that he must cut back on his staff to make ends meet. So he cans his wife, Lulu Danger (Aubrey Plaza), who couldn’t care less anyway…
Lulu’s lost interest in her life with Shane, and barely pays him heed as he whines about money troubles over dinner. Late at night, she sees a TV commercial for the eponymous event, and instantly recognizes Beverly (Craig Robinson) as a mysterious figure from her past. She recalls him fondly, but details are scant, and they don’t even matter much. He represents escape…
[Meanwhile], Shane concocts a lunatic scheme to bail them out of financial troubles with a ludicrous robbery, and an inexplicably awkward [Kiwi] hitman named Colin (Jermaine Clement) emerges to get it back.
Clement refines his deadpan stylings to create a touching loner trapped in a world that treasures mean-spirited gags, while Plaza’s Lulu endows the movie with a soulful yearning that bolsters its goofiness with purpose… This otherworldly realm of a movie… adheres to a logic of total absurdity.” — Eric Kohn, Indiewire