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TIFF Review: A Film With Me In It

When things don’t go our way in life - when we come to that rough patch or fall into that rut where nothing seems to work out, we all inevitably go through stages of self pity and ask questions like, “Could it really get any worse”? For Mark (Mark Doherty), life couldn’t get any worse. He’s an actor who can’t seem to impress anybody with his auditions, his apartment is literally falling apart and he’s behind on the rent, and his girlfriend Sally (Amy Huberman) is fed up and considering leaving him. Mark spends his days trying to coerce his writer best friend Pierce (Dylan Morane) to pen that “epic” movie that will propel them both to stardom. But Pierce is an alcoholic and a gambler, so the two friends merely waste away their lives only talking about doing something big, instead of actually attempting it. When Mark seemingly gets rejected from yet another audition, he realizes he’s hit rock bottom, and that it can’t get any worse; or so he thinks.

A Film With Me in It is… well… a ridiculous film, but director Ian FitzGibbon would no doubt tell you that himself (and he said exactly that in the Q and A following the film). FitzGibbon created a set of rules for his movie and stuck to them, which is why it works. Much credit goes to Doherty and Morane for their deadpanned turns as two friends who can’t even change a light bulb without something going horrifically wrong. As the actors discussed after the film, Doherty’s script lends itself to improvisation, and FitzGibbon clearly let them run with it in the film. For a movie like A Film With Me in It to really work, the chemistry and comfort between the two leads needs to be strong and natural, and Doherty and Morane are pitch perfect. Without them, the film could have been a mess, but as it is they are fantastically hilarious, and more than worth the price of admission.