Somebody Up There Likes Me

Rated: Not Rated

        If someone were to ask me what my favorite movie genre is my response would be something like “I’m not entirely sure. I like most of them; drama, comedy, action. How can you pick one?” But the more and more I think about it, I think that “independent” would have to be my honest answer. It doesn’t really matter what other category independent movies fall into; in fact I’m sure many of you reading this have already noticed that the more obscure and unknown a title is, the better I like it. I guess that part of my attraction to these films is that I like to root for and support the little guy. But that’s not the only reason. I’ve found that a lot of these films are better written than most others these days and that the actors tend to give a more natural feel to their performances.  There also seems to be much more artistic expression by the film makers of these so called “small” films without the big studios breathing down their necks. In my opinion, all of these factors make for a much better movie overall than the big studios could produce.

        Somebody Up There Likes Me
follows the life of Max, a waiter at a prominent steak house, during a 35 year period of his life, most of which is shown in 5 year increments. Throughout the movie only 3 things are constant: Max’s best friend Sal (another waiter), a blue mystery suitcase and Max’s youthful appearance.

        Writer/director Bob Byington’s artistic touches abound in this film. As I mentioned before, Max’s appearance never changes throughout this movie, even though everyone around him ages normally through the years. In a featurette on the DVD extras of this movie Byington is asked in why Max doesn’t appear to age. He replies something along the lines of “Max remains as he sees himself, as a fumbling into adulthood twenty-somethinger, no matter what his true age may be at the time.” I have to say that I really like that touch, because isn’t that pretty much how we all see ourselves, no matter what the mirror in front of you may say?

        Another touch that Byington threw in is a pure and respectful homage to
Pulp Fiction, the blue suitcase. I don’t really like this one as much though, for the same reason why I didn’t like the one in Pulp Fiction: it’s shown throughout the film; people open it and look inside; and yet we (the audience) never get to gaze upon whatever that glowing wonder may be.  It probably shouldn’t bug me, and yet it does. I REALLY want to know what exactly is in those suitcases!!

        Suitcases aside,
Somebody Up There Likes Me is as funny and entertaining as it was deeply thoughtful and eccentric. Keith Paulson, who plays Max, has an emotionless nonchalance that if played by anyone else wouldn’t do this movie justice. Nick Offerman’s performance as Sal is pure gold. Although he admitted that there wasn’t much improvising done in this movie, every word out of his mouth seems like his own wit and wisdom.
  At only 75 minutes long it would be hard to find an excuse not to see this one.

        Somebody Up There Likes Me is not rated and stars Keith Paulson, Nick Offerman and Jess Weixler. It was written and directed by Bob Byington and is available now on Blu Ray, DVD and Digital Download.