Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: David Ian, Traci L. Crouch, Timothy Crowe, Mary Frank Madera, Bill Mootos
Director: Pamela Corkey
Genres: Comedy, Drama
Set in the 1960?s, Easy Listening is a masterful period piece, with the feel of old happy commercials. Burt makes a living playing trumpet in an elevator music orchestra. At home he?s hostage to routine phone calls by hi... more »
Give it a try.
KLW | Pacific NW | 04/19/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"In the interests of full disclosure, I'll start by disclosing that I was once a personal friend of the writer/director of this film. I became aware of it some time ago via Google-ing. Having found myself nowhere in the vicinity of an appropriate film festival, I was excited to see it available on DVD, and bought it right away. Interestingly, what I was expecting to like about it didn't come off as well as I'd hoped, yet there was plenty there that surprised me.****possible spoiler(s) alert****I was interested in the "anti-cool" theme as one I have long struggled with myself. Our culture is so saturated with irony and derisiveness. I see a dynamic to fashion scenes of all types that seems very similar to the vacuous Victorianism lampooned in Jane Austen novels. There is something stuffy, uptight, and false about "cool" that I feel hasn't been properly exposed in popular culture. I have often been frustrated in trying to explain this idea/insight to people who just take it at face value. I was excited to see how this theme would be explored in 'Easy Listening'. Unfortunately, I found myself hit over the head with it. I realize it is dangerous to overestimate the intelligence of your audience, but I thought the theme was made too obvious by the proselytizing of the heroine. I think it could have been more powerfully conveyed if it was somehow communicated more with more subtlety... if I felt as though I was led to this point of view by the unfolding of the events themselves, rather than merely having it delivered speech-style. Nonetheless, I give the film points for tackling the issue and having its heart in the right place.I was very impressed with the costumes and sets, and just the general visual appeal and flow of the film. I was also surprised by how appealing the music was. I thought the lead actor was great, but the lead actress was a bit too campy... or maybe "wooden" is the right word. I'm not sure if this was an acting issue or a writing issue. I guess she seemed a bit more like a 'concept delivery vehicle' than a credible person. The one element that I thought was truly fantastic was the portrayal of the horrible ex-wife. She was so grating, garish, and disgusting, and the way she was hinted at via fragments and left mostly to the imagination was great. I'm still trying to piece together a complete image of her. ****end spoilers****In conclusion, I think Easy Listening is enjoyable and worth seeing. I'm favorably biased to the creator, but I still think it's a very good first feature. I figure the best compliment I can give it is an honest review. My only real criticism is that the writing was too overtly concept-driven. I prefer stories to be a little messier and more character-driven, leaving me with more room to maneuver. For the differently-biased or less obsessively analytical, this might not be an issue."