Welcome to Friday Night Flix, where there’s never a need to leave the couch or put on pants. Each week I’ll recommend an under-the-radar movie currently available on one or more of the major streaming platforms. They won’t all be classics, but every selection is guaranteed to be 100% watchable or your money back.
+1 (Netflix) has the distinction of being the shortest title of any movie I’ve ever seen. Even It is longer title because it’s always referred to as Stephen King’s It. I think there’s a movie called 9 but I never saw it.
+1 also has the distinction of being just plain rad. No exaggeration, this movie is great. It’s smart, funny, well acted and expertly plotted. It has science fiction, horror, comedy, romance and at least one very questionably animated flaming tennis ball.
It all starts with a meteor impact, which never leads anywhere good. (Unless you’re Robert Townsend. Then again…) Out of the meteor leaps some kind of glowing blue energy that starts slowly traveling along power lines to an unsuspecting town nearby. When it arrives at a party full of college kids home for the summer, shit gets cray-zay.
The general idea is at a certain point, the party starts repeating itself. People who look exactly like the people who were already there start showing up, the same events happen over and over again, etc. Sounds like every party I ever went to, except at this one there’s the suggestion that the dopplegangers are out to get the “real” people.
I want to stress that this is a really smart movie. It charts a careful path that doesn’t simply dwell in it premise but explores it. The script provides outlines of characters that are vaguely interesting, then we get to watch as decent young actors and a smart director flesh them out through the course of an artful, high velocity script.
The ending didn’t quite work for me, but you have to give them credit for aiming for the moon. At the very least, I was super impressed at how dark the movie goes after starting off so light and devoid of real conseqeuence. Also, they have their very own gang of Scoobies:
Added bonus: Appropriate amounts of nudity! I can’t stand movies that show boobs just because. Okay, that’s not true but you get the idea. I have even less tolerance for movies that show people having sex fully clothed. Commit to it folks, one way or the other. If you’re gonna make an R-rated movie, gimme plausible nudity when it’s called for. Not for prurience alone (though there is that) but because it makes artistic sense. If you’re committed to keeping your rating PG-13, stick to dry humping. Sex is an act that generally requires some degree of nudity. Own it.