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HIDMEBB Movie Poster

REVIEW: “How I Dumped My Ex-Boyfriend’s Body”

TAGLINE: “The perfect crime… kind of… not really” [from the filmmaker]

An action comedy from Fat Foot Films, directed by Dennis Nadeau, “How I Dumped My Ex-Boyfriend’s Body” (HIDMEBB) tells the story of Maxine and Shae as they look for a way to discretely dispose of a dead body, Maxine having accidentally killed her ex-boyfriend during an argument. Missteps along the way push the girls to ask Shae’s cousin Mikey (who has underground connections) for help. He recommends a “fixer” by the name of Tony, a cleaner for the mob. When Tony shows up, he is not at all what the girls expected, but does his job disposing of the body and covering all their tracks. The girls mistakenly believed that Tony did the job as a favor, when in reality, now they owe Tony $10,000, which they don’t have. This sets them off on another adventure to try and get that money before Tony comes back to collect. All along the way, Maxine’s weird neighbor with an obsessive crush, Roger, bumbles in & out of their mess, creating even more missteps for our leading ladies.

This was a fun and raunchy comedy, made on the lowest of budgets. All the proper elements of a film combine well to prove Dennis Nadeau is a talented comedy director. While some of the story jokes are easy to pre-read, that doesn’t make them any less effective. The pacing of the action along with the camerawork and editing are spot-on for good comedic timing. The dialogue between the characters is witty and fun all the way through, however, I got the feeling (correctly) that even though the lead characters are women, the script was written by a man. Not that there’s anything wrong with that (as George Constanza would say), and I know many women that are as crude or worse than their male counterparts, but it seems men have a tendency to steer any situation towards a dick joke when possible. However, in this case, I think it worked in the film’s benefit to have leading ladies rather than leading men, as it would have been a sausage-fest otherwise, but also it’s nice to see women in less stereotypical roles.

Meredith L. Phillips as our “heroine” Maxine, was a real treat. Though she is a master manipulator, and technically a killer, Maxine has a lovable charm that makes it way too easy to get on her side. Forgiving her occasional slip into a bad Bostonian accent, Phillips’ comedic timing and delivery are on par with many of the top comedy actresses in TV and film right now. In time, I could see her in a Paul Feig or Judd Apatow production. There is a scene in HIDMEBB where Maxine gets pulled over by a bicycle cop with her ex-boyfriend’s dead body in the back seat and has to do some quick thinking. Her performance in this scene is completely award-winning. The other actors even have an in-joke about it, it’s so good.

Josh Pineo as Tony “The Fixer,” delivers the other stand-out performance in this film. A mini-me version of Dennis Farina’s “Cousin Avi” in Snatch, he is an absurd character, but as hard as any mob-connected “fixer” you would expect in this situation. There is a recurring gag with Tony’s mobility that threatens to get played out, but instead only gets funnier as it goes. Pineo also delivers the best blooper line at the end of the credits, which are comfortingly short.

Erik Johnson as Roger was a delightful surprise, as well. His first appearance in the story was a gamble – with an obvious fake wig and an over-bearing weirdness – many new comedy directors love to think that their “wacko” character is going to be a hit, but the wrong zany character can be the death of your whole film. Luckily, Roger brings some unexpected guffaws early on, and only reappears when his presence adds to the chaos that fuels this ride. Using a charater like this is risky, but this film uses Roger only as much as need be, before bringing him back in a big way that you wouldn’t expect.

The lovely Venessa Leigh plays Maxine’s wise-cracking best friend, Shae, to a T. Only half-listening to Maxine’s troubles, throwing her under the bus when convenient, and worrying more about her own spotlight than the seriousness of Maxine’s situation. Shae does come to Maxine’s aid when the going gets tough, though, and no matter how ridiculous the situation, she is always there in support.

Ed Gutierrez as “Mikey” is a solid supporting character, and delivers my favorite line in the whole movie: “Shae, I drink the strongest wine coolers they make!”

With HIDMEBB, the filmmakers did not try to do more than they could get away with for the budget. The writing is fresh, the characters are fun, and the payoff is well worth the price of admission. You will catch yourself laughing out loud, and then shaking your head as to how something so simple and obvious can still be so funny.

The ending of HIDMEBB was a great surprise and really took the film out on a high note. The production value of the denouement (the “wrapping up of things”) was so good, it felt as if half the budget went to the first hour of the movie and the other half of the budget was spent on the last 10 minutes. I’m hoping that the ending is a hint of what is coming up next from Fat Foot Films.

There is no actual sex (though lots of sexual dialogue), and the only nudity is male (plenty of it, btw). And even though a murder has obviously taken place, the film is light on the violence, up until a deadly finale. However, the foul language and toilet humor alone would probably get this an R rating from the MPAA. I recommend “How I Dumped My Ex-Boyfriend’s Body” to comedy fans of adult age, but with a juvenile sense of humor

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