Confusions Of An Unmarried Couple
Directed by Brett Butler and Jason Butler
Written by Brett Butler
Starring Brett Butler, Naomi Johnson
After spending several months of living on his brother’s couch, Dan finally builds up the courage and intoxication to finally confront his ex-girlfriend Lisa (ex-fiancee, current fiancee, what the fuck is she?) about catching her sleeping with another woman, maybe patching things up, or at the very least getting his Pretty In Pink soundtrack LP back. He treks over to her apartment and the pair spend the rest of the afternoon bickering, arguing, and smoking a joint before getting right back into it, still not quite aware that they are absolutely perfect for each other.
The Butler brothers, Brett and Jason (no relation to the comedienne or that visitor from Charleston), have been quietly churning out low-budget comedies north of the border for several years now. With their latest release, Confusions Of An Unmarried Couple, they are about to take the slice-of-life, no-holds-barred, offensive-as-all-hell-comedy world by storm.
Pairing up as writers, producers, directors, and in Brett’s case actor, the Butlers have woven together an ingenious and raw look at the pains and insecurities of a couple who are almost ready to commit to the “adult world” of relationships. Their script features some of the most outrageous one-liners and back-and-forth quips that are almost too good to actually have been fictionally written, but rather transcribed from some secretly recorded argument between a couple that have had one too many cocktails. There are some gut-busting moments featuring colorful language that will probably get under the skin of just about everyone at least once.
Brett, who plays Dan, gives himself the better dialogue and goes for broke with offensive comments that he spouts out at rapid fire hoping to become the center of attention, like a child who says “fuck” for the first time and then looks around to make sure someone heard them use a bad word. Naomi Johnson, who makes her film acting debut here, is just able to keep up with Brett as she spits back her lines, and almost has to play straight man to Dan’s raving verbal assault. Both of them, however, are able to tap into this awkward acting style that borders on spur-of-the-moment improvisation, stumbling and cracking in their line delivery.
While Brett and Jason are the co-directors, it is Jason’s documentary-style camera work that just perfectly nails the attitude of the movie. Filmed on various degrees of semi-professional equipment, the grainy and VHS look that usually cripples low-budget productions actually heightens the true-to-life aspect of the movie. Jason’s affinity to low camera angles and ping-ponging back and forth between the two characters in long takes makes this fictional movie seem more real than any of the “reality” stuff on television. Adding to the riff on the Real World are multiple cutaways from the main story as Dan and Lisa are separately interviewed in confessional moments on multiple topics that are all connected to sex.
There have been countless movies made throughout the ages about sex, but almost all of them (and that includes the pornographic variety) have been too scared to really, really get to the heart of that matter. With Confusions…, the Butlers have not only breached that wall, but also brought two of the most real fictional characters to the screen in quite some time.
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