Chris Roberti, Kenny Zimlinghaus, Kate Villanova, Julie Mann, Brian Jolles, Inney Prakash
WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY
"Skippers" Screens at the 2018 Indy Film Fest
Described by the team behind it as an "existential indie sports comedy," the 72-minute Skippers is practically the definition of a quirky comedy. The film tells the story of a mysterious drifter named Carver (Chris Roberti, Sport Court) who arrives in a small town and subsequently breathes life into it by teaching the Zen of stone skipping. However, when he gets too close to Josie (Kate Villanova), the sister of a powerful local (Kenny Zimlinghaus), stones might not be the only thing sinking to the bottom of the river.
Written and directed by Aaron Wertheimer, Skippers is a rather unusual little comedy that weaves together a sort of dry soulfulness amidst its absurdist humor and situations that are so far beyond believable that your ability to surrender to the unbelievable may determine whether or not you find the film entertaining at all. For some, Skippers is going to be a complete and utter waste of time. However, for those willing to surrender to its indie vibe there's fun to be had in the film's breezy 71-minute running time.
I will confess it took me a good 30 minutes to surrender to the Skippers vibe, mostly courtesy of the initial conflict between Carver and Zimlinghaus's Kevin, a local real estate guy whose mainly stated reason for being concerned about this drifter skipping stones is "property values."
There's absurd. Then, there's lame.
However, Skippers eventually finds its groove and the film's ensemble cast is admirably up for Wertheimer's weird mix of humor, sentimentality and Zen. When it works, Skippers is a rather endearing indie.
Skippers doesn't really go anywhere you don't expect it to go, though Wertheimer's cast and crew obviously have a lot of fun getting there anyway. The film takes a couple twists, though fairly predictable ones, and but the emphasis here is very much on the journey which, when you think about it, is actually remarkably Zen.
Chris Roberti gives a strangely satisfying performance, strangely because he could be accused of giving a one-note performance yet that one note actually fits the character quite nicely. Among the supporting players, Kate Villanova and Zimlinghaus, whose performance in the latter half of the film really hits all the right notes.
For more information on Skippers, visit the film's Facebook page linked to in the credits.
© Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic