Heavy Times is an indie comedy that will remind you of The Hangover and Superbad. Directed by Benjamin Mark and Ryan McKenna, it takes you on a wild joy-ride with three best friends and a loud and obnoxious brother-in-law. The characters get way outside their comfort zone and so do we.
Heavy Times starts out with three best friends who do not have much going for them but otherwise live normal lives. Hugh (Jason Brunner) is a youth basketball coach, Dan (Brian D. Evans) works on the sidewalk as a sandwich shop advertiser and Mark (Adam Lauver) is a used car salesman who has only sold a few cars.
When the three of them go to a party it is apparent just how much of an embarrassment they really are. Bringing their own plastic cups to the party so they do not have to pay is just the beginning. Dan is hoping to pick up a girl that he had once thrown up on, which not surprisingly does not work out so well. Hugh gets in a rap battle but fails to deliver a coherent line. Mark unsuccessfully attempts to explain what the word behoove means.
Mostly because they have nothing better to do, Hugh and Mark tag along with Dan for dinner at Dan’s sister’s place. Dan gives them a delicate warning about his brother-in-law, Rick (Jeff Koen), but he should have given a much stronger warning. To say Rick is rude and obnoxious is a huge understatement.
They have no idea what they are getting themselves into when they agree to go out for some drinks with Rick (who later on admits he has a drinking problem). After they close down a bar Rick tells them instead of going back home that he insists they all go to Montreal. Hugh is the only one that agrees because Rick stands up for him, so he does not want to let him down.
Things only go downhill from there as Dan and Mark are sick of putting up with Rick’s behavior. As an attempt to flee from Rick, they leave him at the motel and start driving back home. Their plans changes though when Mark runs into his old roommate at a gas station. They get invited to a party he is throwing where things get out of control.
The main characters are vastly overshadowed by the supporting roles. This is unfortunate because they seemed the funniest, even though they have such little to do with the film. Rick’s character goes too far with the obnoxious outbursts and cruel humor. You can definitely tell that he is a stand-up comedian, he has a natural comedic way of dishing out insults. However, I think most people will have a hard time dealing with Rick’s character which needed to be toned down a little more so the film would be much more tolerable.
The beginning of Heavy Times felt polished and thought out. The three main characters were given proper backgrounds. The use of the YouTube videos for the opening montage was pretty neat and had to be cost effective for this indie film. Conversely, the middle and ending seemed sloppy when it came to both the storyline and dialog.
Having said that, Heavy Times does provide some funny scenes that you would come to expect from the college type humor. Although, most of the time is spent in discomfort from the overbearing personality of Rick. The soundtrack was solid and fit well with the film. Also the camera work does not seem very amateurish. It had a promising start but quickly lost its direction.