Saturday, February 28, 2015

A-Z Movies, Z: "Zero Charisma"

Recommended by:
Suzanne (friend)

Movie Stats:
Released 2013 (USA)
American, in English
Directors - Katie Graham & Andrew Matthews
Stars - Sam Edison, Garrett Graham, Brock England

Plot Summary:
A nerd with virtually no social skills, Scott (Edison), finds his position as Game Master of a D&D-like role playing game suddenly challenged by the far more charismatic Miles (Graham). England co-stars as Scott’s bestie, Wayne.

Blue language, minor violence, and some sexual innuendo that might go over your head if you’re particularly naive.

Bad Stuff:
If you’ve never played a tabletop role playing game, I have a hard time imagining that you would find this movie amusing.

It’s a bit slow and boring.

Scott’s lack of social skills made me so uncomfortable. On the one hand, I felt bad for him, because I’ve known people who struggle to connect with other human beings and I know how frustrating it is for them. On the other hand, he was angry and a total sour puss and lacked even the tiniest sense of humor so it was difficult to rally behind him. I cringed through almost the whole movie.

Good Stuff:
As someone who has done tabletop role playing games, there was so much of this I could relate to. That thing I said above about cringing through the whole movie? That’s also sort of a good thing, because that means it accurately captures what people in this subculture can be like at times. It made me chuckle quite a bit.

Loved the soundtrack.

The acting was pretty good. Usually in these low budget flicks, the acting is the worst part, but not here.

The Verdict:
First, a geeky interlude. One of the scenes takes place at Donut Taco Palace II, which my husband and I used to frequent when we lived in the neighborhood (this was filmed in Austin). I can’t even tell you how many times we’ve directed people to eat there. Honestly, what could be better than a place that sells both breakfast tacos and donuts? I was genuinely thrilled to see it in the movie.

As cringe-inducing as this movie is, I really admire it for its unflinching, realistic portrayal of the gaming subculture. I have met every single one of the archetypes that appears in this. There are also some genuinely funny moments. I literally laughed out loud when Scott was buying snacks for his game night and the cashier asked him if he was getting food for his nephew’s birthday party. It’s a bit too slow for my tastes, however. While it clocks in at an hour and a half, it felt much longer. 

I give the movie 3.25 stars.


Patricia said...

This sounds like a perfect movie for a certain someone in my life who has a regular D&D night, but doesn't like to admit he has a regular D&D night.

balyien said...

P, your comment made me laugh so hard!