Full Grown Men
by Jef Burnham
Coming to DVD August 25th, 2009 from Liberation Entertainment.
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With its undeniable charm, Full Grown Men is a film that begs to be liked, but it’s unfortunate that the same thing can’t be said for its main character, Alby (Matt McGrath). Alby is a 35-year-old husband and father of one, who has apparently never been able to grow up, an remains the same childish bully he was at 12. Alby leaves his family in a tantrum and meets up with his old friend Elias (Judah Friedlander). It turns out Elias is going to Diggityland for a conference and Alby invites himself along with his bag of collectible action figures in hand.
Aside from a brief opening narration, in which Alby says growing up was essentially not as fun as being a kid, we are never given any reason for his arrested development. As such, we never relate with Alby on any more than a superficial level (we all get nostalgic), and certainly cannot understand the cause of the unhealthy nostalgia that has resulted in him being a sort of subtler, unmotivated Drop Dead Fred. However, with its colorful supporting characters, its wisps of nostalgia and a beautiful original score, Full Grown Men is a film with a definite, watchable charm about it.
It’s also important to mention that the film sports some impressive cameos including Alan Cumming as a former disgruntled amusement park worker, Amy Sedaris as a clown-in-training, and Deborah Harry as some sort of mermaid lady. All are tragically short, save for the appearance of Cumming, who gets some 15 minutes of screen time as he tags along for a stretch of their road trip.
The plethora of special features on this DVD release include feature-length commentary; a 5-minute “making of” featurette; 4 mini-featurettes about the supporting characters ,which includes Cumming discussing the development of his character, Amy Sedaris outtakes, and character development/outtakes with Judah Friedlander; 8 deleted/extended scenes including an alternate opening; a photo gallery; and trailers.
Jef Burnham is a writer and educator living in Chicago, Illinois. While waging war on mankind from a glass booth in the parking lot of a grocery store, Jef managed to earn a degree in Film & Video from Columbia College Chicago, and is now the Editor-in-Chief of FilmMonthly.com.
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