Everyone’s been addicted to a specific food at one time or another. Whether it’s something as simple as chewing gum or a more extravagant delicacy, if you like it and it’s available, you’re going to eat it. But what happens if you discover your deliciousness of choice comes with harmful side effects? I still consume Sweet’N Low packet after packet, so chances are, it won’t stop you. In The Immaculate Conception of Little Dizzle, writer-director David Russo suggests something far more serious than an overdose of aspartame; the food at the center of his film has some truly fishy consequences.
Dory's (Marshall Allman) a good guy; he's just going through a rough time. After an outburst at the office, he's fired and goes on the hunt for new work. When he can’t manage to snag a spot as a respectable data manager, he turns to his last resort, Spiffy Jiffy Janitorial Services. Paper towels and antiseptic in hand, he hits the floor with his new coworkers, OC (Vince Vieluf), Gary (Matt Smith), Ethyl (Tania Raymond) and Methyl (Tygh Runyan).
As usual, Dory takes a peek into a trashcan before emptying it and spots a wrapped cookie. Upon taking a bite, his pallet is drenched in something foul, forcing him to spit, not swallow. A food company employee, Tracy (Natasha Lyonne), catches it all and explains the cookie was a dud in a line of self-warming sweets. She encourages Dory to give the product another chance and invites him to a taste test trial and he agrees to sit down to nosh. When the company receives less than stellar results, they decide a covert trial is the way to go. Assuming Dory's trash diving is a usual occurrence, Tracy stashes cookies throughout the building in hopes the janitorial crew will gobble them up. Sure enough, they do and they actually love them. In fact, they become addicted.
The key to making that instant connection with the film is Dory, and his nice guy demeanor makes it a breeze. Minus his in-office outburst, he's a sweet and innocent guy just looking to do the right thing. His nobility immediately clashes with his new friends. The Spiffy Jiffy crew gets the jobs done, but not without having some fun while they do it. OC enjoys his beer, music and taking photographs of the most curious looking clogged toilets he can find while Ethyl and Methyl are busy leaving their sexual mark on every desk and conference table in the building. They may be on the eccentric side, but the group is fun loving and their mix of hard work and shenanigans are instantly appreciated.
Adding to their fun is heaps of cartoonish editing. Russo provides a taste of his style early on in the opening credits, which follows a message in a bottle floating to the shore as though the bottle were the centerpiece of a techno music video. From there, Russo simmers down with the FX to set the scene and introduce us to the main players. But once Mother Hubbard's cookies come into the picture, Little Dizzle transforms from a sweet and simple movie about misfits into a psychedelic experience. Apparently that self-warming component in the cookies doesn’t sit properly in men, causing hallucinations, giving them terrible stomach cramps and a little something, er - blue.
Inexplicable light shows, sped up footage and fades are border line gimmicky, but somewhat appropriate not just because the characters are supposed to be having twisted visions, but due to the nature of the film in its entirety. The Immaculate Conception of Little Dizzle is ridiculous. Nearly the entire film is pure silliness, but in the final 30 minutes reaches a pinnacle of absolute absurdity. However, Russo is well aware of this and doesn't take the material too seriously, almost poking fun at the characters' situations along the way. At one point, even Dory stops to reflect and gets a giggle out of his condition.
The only thing that feels completely misplaced is Dory's obsession with religion. Our hero is often seen clutching a bible, donning a yamaka or flipping through an idiot’s guide to Buddhism. Why? We never really find out. Dory shares an endearing moment with Methyl during which his vast knowledge of religion comes in handy, but otherwise that element of his character doesn’t hold much importance.
Those quick to judge The Immaculate Conception of Little Dizzle will likely brand it as nonsensical silliness, but that doesn’t mean the film isn’t enjoyable to watch. Like a heart-pumping music video, this film caters to those with short attention spans who are also looking for a quick laugh and the film’s immediate payoff is just that. But, upon further reflection, the events of Little Dizzle eerily seem quite possible, perhaps not to the extent Russo depicts, but the underlying message still holds some degree of truth. One part thoughtful and troublesome implication, three parts downright absurdity, The Immaculate Conception of Little Dizzle is an unusually wonderful source of dark comedy.
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