Critics' Pick

It's a Disaster (R)

Comedy 88 April 12, 2013
By Alan Scherstuhl
Perhaps the first great indie apocalypse potluck comedy, Todd Berger's It's a Disaster aces many of the fundamentals bobbled by too many of the films with which it shares DNA. Like dopey ol' Cloverfield, this opens with get-to-know-the-cast party scenes, in this a case sharply observed and performed couples' brunch, with a smart script and a thirty-ish ensemble so adept at taxonomizing these longtime friends' peculiarities that audiences will not find themselves impatient for the end times to hit. Then, as in Husbands and Wives, one couple (Erinn Hayes and Blaise Miller) has bad news to share, and we're treated to bracing, intelligent comedy about the specific hardships of specific romances, both new and old. And then, like The Mist, we have a balls-out end-of-civilization scenario, one setting our four couples into a flurry of activity: sealing the doors, searching for a radio, breaking up, reconciling, dumping all the pills from the medicine cabinet into one bucket-sized cocktail of homemade ecstasy. They're stranded together in the house together until God knows when—unless, of course, they’re already doomed just from breathing the air. Julia Stiles, who has never been better, and David Cross lead the cast as the freshest of the couples, only on their third date. Long the best things in bad movies, or just Jason Bourne's plus-one, Stiles here is the best thing in a good movie, which is saying something, considering this film has a rare, perfect ending and America Ferrera (also never better) all hopped up on pills and itching to wrestle.
Todd Berger Julia Stiles, David Cross, America Ferrera, Erinn Hayes, Jeff Grace, Rachel Boston, Kevin M. Brennan, Blaise Miller, Laura Adkin, Rob Mcgillivray Todd Berger Kevin M. Brennan, Jeff Grace, Gordon Bijelonic, Datari Turner Oscilloscope Laboratories


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