Friday, May 18, 2012

Bernie


Jack Black plays Bernie, a funeral director from Texas.  Bernie's a distinctive man.  He's extremely warm, friendly, and helpful, particularly to the older ladies in town.  He has a tremendous singing voice.  And he's more than a little effeminate.  Yet, even in Republican America, he's embraced by all in town and overwhelmingly popular.  But things take a turn for the worse after he persistently pursues a relationship with a mean older woman played by Shirley MacLaine.

This documentary-style dark comedy directed by Richard Linklater ('Before Sunrise', 'Before Sunset', 'Dazed and Confused') is alternately quirky and disturbing.  The performances and key casting, including Matthew McConaughey as the small town District Attorney, are perfect.  And the fact that it's based on a true story makes it even better.  But it felt long and fell short on surprises.  It's worth your time if you fancy the quirky indie dramedies.

Grade: B

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