Brad Jacobowitz, Sophocles Athanason, Ernest Jacobowitz, Dayvin Sterling, Marlene Jacobowitz
WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY
"The Pizza Boy" an Intriguing Low-Budget Indie
A low-budget dark comedy written, directed, produced by and starring Brad Jacobowitz, The Pizza Boy is the story of, you guessed it, a "pizza boy" or, more appropriately, a 30-year-old named Brad (Jacobowitz) who is becoming both increasingly disgruntled and emotionally fractured as a young man who is seemingly directionless and increasingly a whipping boy for everyone around him.
With shades of Falling Down and a low-budget horror flick from a few years back called Delivery, The Pizza Boy is a film that is constantly on the edge of being a really good low-budget indie. While this might sound like I'm slighting or insulting the film, that's most definitely not my intent in describing this first feature film effort from Jacobowitz. The film is most assuredly hindered by its low-budget and production limitations, at certain times featuring a jarringly weak sound mix and other times tremendously impaired by being forced to shoot in less than favorable natural lighting. Of course, as nearly any indie filmmaker would tell you these are common circumstances for the low-budget filmmaker and despite it all Jacobowitz has managed to create a film that kept me watching for its entire 76-minute running time.
I guess I should say more clearly that Jacobowitz has created a film that kept me WANTING to watch for its entire 76 -minute running time. As a film critic, I've never actually stopped watching a film. This doesn't mean I've never wanted to do so. With The Pizza Boy, I actually found myself involved in the story and in Jacobowitz's involving and compelling performance in the lead role.
In fact, there are times when the really low-budget nature of The Pizza Boy works to its advantage as we're served up a gritty and earthy film with ample amounts of dark humor and a character who is simultaneously humorous, sympathetic and more than a little bit disturbing. The supporting cast carries that same vibe, most notably Jacobowitz's real life parents who are in the film as the parents who are tired of supporting their 30-year-old son.
In good conscience, I simply can't quite get myself to give the film a true vote of confidence but I can say that despite the film's tech challenges it remains an intriguing and watchable film. I might be sold most of all on Jacobowitz as a writer, because The Pizza Boy takes what could have easily been a paint-by-numbers story and makes it a seriously entertaining one. Darkly humorous with threads of serious social observations, The Pizza Boy delivers a promising first effort from its writer/director and star Brad Jacobowitz.
© Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic