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The Independent Critic

Directed by
Samah Tokmachi
Written by
Tim Schwartz, Ronnie Prouty
Starring
Ronnie Prouty, Tim Schwartz, Grayce Charles, Kody Batchelor
Running Time 
15 Mins.
OFFICIAL WEBSITE

 "Smooch My Smackers" Review 
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When Betty (Grayce Charles) falls in love with Buck (Tim Schwartz), an out-of-work porn star, her landlord Mr. Berkshire (Ronnie Prouty) plots to foil the budding romance and run off with Grayce and her son, Garbone (Kody Batchelor).

How can I describe Smooch My Smackers?

Wes Anderson in a trailer park?

P.T. Anderson with more Buck than f***?

How about maybe last year's underrated John C. Reilly/Jonah Hill flick Cyrus?

Smooch My Smackers
may very well be a cinematic beast all its own. Wonderfully quirky and surprisingly sentimental, Smooch My Smackers director Samah Tokmachi manages to create within a short 15-minute span a quartet of unforgettable and entertaining characters that make absolutely no sense yet fantastic just the same.

Of course, a huge piece of the credit here must go to co-writers Tim Schwartz and Ronnie Prouty, two incredibly inventive actors/writers with whom I'm becoming increasingly familiar. Rather than go for easy, cheap laughs, Schwartz and Prouty have created eccentric characters with whom you'll find yourself going "Awwwww."

Grayce Charles could have embodied nothing but over-the-top caricature as a sort of "never been kissed" type character, an overweight woman who longs for that man who is going to smooch her smackers and sweep her off her feet. Yet, something delightfully real happens on the way to caricature as Charles turns delightful Betty into a simply hilarious yet charming young woman not too far removed from Amy Adams in Junebug. Instead of simply becoming a character to laugh at, Betty turns into a sentimental favorite you can't help but fall in love with by film's end.

The same is true for Buck, played in a hilarious low-key by Tim Schwartz. Schwartz's Buck sort of crosses Ma & Pa Kettle meets Orgazmo with results that are simply terrific. Ronnie Prouty shines as the mischievous Mr. Berkshire, while Kody Batchelor rocks it while looking like a bastard sibling of Jonah Hill's or perhaps an evil outcast from a Wes Anderson flick.

Chayse Irvin's camera work is terrific, while Austin Wintory's original music is energized and inspired. In a film so delightfully constructed as this, it would be remiss of me to not mention the imaginative production design of Johanna Jenkins.

For more information on Smooch My Smackers, visit the film's website listed above!
    The 50/50 x 2020 Pledge

    The Independent Critic is proud to support Indy-based Heartland Film by committing to the 50/50 x 2020 Pledge - By the end of the year 2020, The Independent Critic will achieve gender parity in its reviews of both shorts and feature films. Furthermore, The Independent Critic also pledges support for the Ruderman Family Foundation's call for authentic representation of people with disabilities in film and actively commits to leverage its journalistic influence to effect genuine change in the film industry by calling for and actively promoting authentic and inclusive casting and hiring of people with disabilities.

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