Bickford Shmeckler, the most awkward person on campus, wrote a book explaining his “unified theory of everything” which is then stolen by a girl at a party. This causes Bickford to lose his mind as he goes on adventure between two extremes of being incredibly manic, and then incredibly depressive (I wonder if there’s a term for that?) as he tried to get it back.
Anyway, this movie does do a good job of combining comedy with philosophical thoughts and high-minded ideas that asks the questions of “what are we?” and “what is our purpose?” or “What is the meaning of life?” Which you might not think is very funny but, as the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy has shown before it, there’s nothing more hilarious, at least in the grand scheme of things, than the fact that everything exists for no reason at all.
I like the characters in this movie especially. As far as college movies go, more often than not, the characters are unrealistic and the story is over-the-top. There’s not a problem with that, I mean, my movie Unlucky is an unrealistic, unbelievable-character-driven, college comedy, but here everything feels like it’s happening to real people, even Spaceman feels like I could know him, my homeless, crazy, Matthew Lillard look-alike friend. The comedy, too, mostly comes from these realistic situations.
The pacing is a little off-pace, and maybe a little off-tone as well. Some scenes are slow and sad or even downright depressing, others quick, funny, and exciting! It makes me wonder if maybe it was to copy the seemingly bipolar Mr. Shmeckler, but that just started making me think about quantum entanglement and how one electron on this side of the universe will always be positively charged while another on the other side of the universe is negatively charged and when one switches charges the other has to at the exact same moment in time and I’m distracted because I’m too busy Brain-gasming all over my face.
My favorite scene is when Bickford stands up and presents some very Socrates thoughts in a very Socrates way. Ultimately, though, I know nothing.
Why you should watch it before you die: Because it’s one of the most fascinating college comedies without having to rely on familiar college tropes. Also, though it isn’t going to change your life like the people in the movie, it presents thoughts and scenes that are both entertaining and interesting.
+7.5: This movie thinks, therefore, it is
+1: Good acting by all characters, but when everyone is good, then no one is good
-1: The pacing is either off or on, but you won’t know which one until you look in the box
+1: Seriously, though, I don’t know anything, probably because I’m too distracted by these shadows on the wall in my cave…