DVD Release Date:
Writer/Director: Ray McKinnon
Starring: McKinnon, Paul
Ben-Victor, Lisa Blount, Brent Briscoe, Tim DeKay, Sam Frihart,
Walton Goggins, Bill Nunn, Maryann Perone, Burt Reynolds
Studio/Run Time: Capricorn
Pictures, 99 mins.
Not every film has to be Raging
Bull. Not every film even has to be Annie Hall.
Sometimes it’s enough just to be really funny.
The latest film from the fruitful
collaboration of Ray McKinnon, Lisa Blount and Walton Goggins is
released this week to DVD and On Demand. Unlike the trio’s
previous films, which tended toward the dark side, Randy and the
Mob is “just” a family comedy (though not quite as broad or
as formulaic as the DVD cover would suggest). McKinnon plays Randy,
a small-town Southern man trying to keep his financial head above
water while simultaneously trying to keep his family together and to
win the “Man of the Year” award from the local Chamber of
Commerce. He’s managed to put himself in debt to both the IRS and
the mob, and the latter comes calling (that the former would not beat
them to the punch is one of the few logical leaps in the film). The
mob sends in a fixer named Tino Armani, played by Walton Goggins with
a Sling Blade-meets-Terminator delivery that viewers
will either love or hate.
It all sounds like something you’ve
seen before, but if you’ve seen any of the team’s previous
efforts you know that they don’t do anything by the book. Each of
their films has a truly authentic Southernness that transcends the
stereotypes by which Hollywood nearly always represents the region
(“I’ve never once heard anyone I know use the word “if’n”,”
laughs McKinnon). These characters live and breathe, and that’s
the source of the laughter, not a collection of one-liners and
slapstick setups (although I must admit that McKinnon diving
headfirst into a pile of dirty diapers is a pratfall worthy of John
Ritter). It’s a more humane brand of comedy.
It’s also more difficult to pull off,
and McKinnon draws wonderful performances from the cast he’s
assembled. He himself plays both Randy and Randy’s gay twin
brother Cecil, and he so fully inhabits each that you honestly forget
he’s playing both parts. The inestimable Goggins is great, of
course, as Tino, especially since much of his work is confined to the
action behind Tino’s eyes. Blount plays Southern
suburban-housewife desperation perfectly (when Randy tells her she
might be clinically depressed, the glare she shoots him is one of the
best moments in the film).