Chris Caravella, Geneva Carr, Seth Kirschner, Jym Parella, Jenny Grace
Robert Vornkahl, Chris Vespoli and Paul DeKams
VOD - Vimeo and Amazon
After a successful festival run that included prizes for Best Feature Film at the Kingston and Metropolitan Film Festivals, Best Comedy at the NYC Chain Theater Film Festival and Best Romantic Comedy at Cleveland's Indie Gathering, Robert Vornkahl's Completely Normal is now available through VOD on both Amazon and Vimeo. The film stars Seth Kirschner (30 Rock) as Greg, a hopeless romantic whose approach proves to be a tad overwhelming for most "normal" women.
Gwen (Jenny Grace, Jenny Grace and Producing Juliet) is not, well, "normal."
Falling in love with the average-seeming New York City cleaning woman from afar, Greg doesn't quite know what he's in for when he meets the woman who likes yoga, cigarettes and heavy metal music and who, it just so happens, also happens to have multiple personality disorder. With personalities such as Mary (Geneva Carr, Love and Other Drugs) and Dylan newcomer Jym Parella, from the Connecticut punk rock band Two Fisted Law, pushing and pulling them both, Greg and Gwen stumbled awkwardly through what may be love while dealing with individual quirks, friends and family who mean well and the darkly comical prats and pitfalls of this darkly comical yet for the most part life-affirming tale about what it means to be normal and what it means to live your life full-on anyway.
The film soars most when squarely in the hands of the delightful Jenny Grace, whose presence here is warm and sweet and vulnerable coupled with funny and dark and quietly unpredictable. As a longtime mental health professional who works in the area of post-trauma, I struggled with certain elements of the story that never quite gelled and glossed over elements of both Greg and Gwen that were never quite dark enough to be truly classified as dark comedy and yet painted with a glossed over realism that felt superficial. In some ways, perhaps, removing that "baggage" of multiple personality disorder would have helped as we'd have been left with two impossibly socially awkward human beings, abnormal at best, trying to be "normal," in a world that is abnormal at best.
Still, it is what it is and Completely Normal still works as an unexpectedly heartfelt romantic comedy with Greg's impossibly, and potentially illegal, behavior played with utter sincerity by Kirschner, whose closest cinematic comparison might very well be Ryan Gosling's turn as Lars in Lars and the Real Girl.
Brian C. Harnick's lensing is pristine throughout the film's 90-minute running time, while Laurie Krupp's production design gives the film a sort of quirky yet natural feeling that fits perfectly.
Completely Normal is the kind of little indie film one enjoys finding along the festival route, a film that's a little abnormal itself yet lives into that with heart and humor and affection for its kinda creepy and adorably awkward subjects. For more information on the film, visit the official website linked to in the credits. You can rent the film for yourself straight from this page, as well.
© Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic