When you build a website on a willingness to watch anything, you have to actually watch a lot of random shit. And it gets harder when you get behind, because then most of your reviews end up being the films that everyone is already going to watch or already know about. Not the real hidden gems or hidden turds out there.
And yet somehow, I found a new Netflix original film that wasn’t very advertised and one they are probably just trying to make and hide. A hidden title, still with their Netflix original sticker on it. Not only that, but the title is Handsome: A Netflix Mystery Movie. It has Netflix in the fucking title? What’s up with that? That’s weird.
This movie has so little information about it that I couldn’t even find out why they went that route. Is it just a double form of advertising? Does it take place INSIDE the Netflix head quarters? I DON’T KNOW.
But I need to know, and now, I am watching a movie not many people have noticed to exist yet. Hooray!
The fireworks are a metaphor.
Gene Handsome (Jeff Garlin) is a detective, getting old, maybe he will retire, maybe not. But he is lonely. He lives alone on his street, with one of his neighbors (Eddie Pepitone) being a PI with a younger accordion playing wife (Leah Remini) and they are eccentric. But he has new neighbors! And on the way over to introduce them and give them cookies, he finds Heather (Hailee Keanna Lautenbach), the baby sitter instead and she doesn’t trust him. That’s fair.
But then the next day, Heather is found dead and cut up on a famous actor’s lawn. Talbert Bacorn (Steven Weber) has no idea who this lady is or why his lawn, but Handsome and his partner, Fleur Scozzari (Natasha Lyonne) are on the case! With almost nothing to base it off of.
Thankfully, he can now meet his new neighbor (Christine Woods) and her daughter (Ava Acres) under a weird set of circumstances. Maybe it can lead to a less lonely life. Oh sorry, that is creepy, given the circumstances.
Also featuring Timm Sharp, William Stanford Davis, and Joe Kenda.
That bathrobe is also a metaphor.
Handsome is a hard movie to categorize. It isn’t laugh out loud funny, it is more just peculiar. My wife described it as quirky. I would also describe it as overexagerrated while also somehow down to earth.
There isn’t necessarily anything in this film that feels unreasonable. All of the plot details are fine. It is just that everyone is a bit odd, a bit out there, I don’t know if there is a single “straight character” in the movie. All of the characters seem to have their own stories and inspirations and this is just us caught up right in the middle of it.
In fact, this movie sort of feels like a pilot episode. Maybe that is why Netflix is in the title? This was a test run of a television show, or a many episodic movie series that are really easy to make and produce.
And if so, it is going to be something that someone can put on an enjoy and half pay attention to, like a lot of mystery/crime television shows. This is not a movie that you would rush out and recommend to your friends, but there is nothing inherently awful about it. It is just safe. A safe and easy movie.
Good on Garlin, who decided to write, direct, and star in this movie. A passion project for him and one that didn’t crash and burn.
2 out of 4.