Directed by Ross Munro
Starring Ross Munro, Robert David Duncan
Indie film review by Lorenzo Lombardi
Time changes many people. This particularly applies to the older people of society. As the world evolves, elders naturally “get with the times”. In A Legacy of Whining, though, middle-aged protagonist Mitch (Ross Munro) deliberately goes against this in a most evidently cringe-worthy way. He uses archaic words, makes references to age-old philosophies and, terribly, sports a jacket that went out of style decades ago. Mitch is the embodiment of the film’s main themes: clinginess, datedness and identity crisis.
Initially, it seems like A Legacy of Whining’s humour would be better executed in an adult animation. The first 10 minutes follow Mitch waiting for a high school friend he has not seen for decades. Whilst waiting, he encounters an assortment of colourful characters that ultimately are tools for some jokes of poor tastes. We see this when a tramp is seemingly ordering dog meat for dinner and a wheelchair-stricken woman asking Mitch for a graphic kind of intercourse. On top of that, a procession of porn stars appear! Again, all in 10 minutes. Sadly, this will push away a lot of viewers, especially ones looking for a more mature comedy. Although, if they stick around, they will find an entertaining and sometimes witty buddy film.
The film’s best quality is the script, written by main star and director Munro. Mitch makes frequent references to films and they are quite amusing to well-watched viewers. His strident of verbose vocabulary makes for some interesting conversations too. These conversations are mostly between him and his old-school friend Dunc (Robert David Duncan). Duncan plays the character with a cynical undertone but is ultimately outshined by his co-star. Dunc is mostly there to undermine Mitch’s personality. Sometimes, though, there are nuances of his mutual discontent for the youth of today --- his misplaced expectations for his later stage of life. Mitch shares this, too. The viewer can see that in his ramblings of things like teenage vampire films or the lack of cinnamon coffee nowadays.
I did not laugh out loud once at this film, and like the first 10 minutes, the last 20 minutes would better belong in a cartoon. This is because of the eloquent and drawn-out execution of the jokes. Maybe if it were done in a more grounded way, it would be funnier. Overall, though, this film works better as part of the buddy and midlife crisis subgenres. One Birdman-esque scene near the end impresses, with Mitch saying he does not know who he really is. Maybe he wanted to meet his friend to reclaim a bit of his early life. Therefore, while it is not a funny comedy, it is a gem of a commentary pertaining to how people from a bygone era deal with the new world. Even if these two guys deal with it through disparaging Twilight and hiring Marxist prostitutes.