Mars Roberge’s comedy is “Office Space” with a bit of “Fear and Loathing” with a dash of mumblecore thrown in for good measure. It’s definitely rough around the edges, but it’s also a movie that I had a good time with. The movie just drips charisma and enthusiasm and Roberge creates a comedy that’s filled to the brim with eccentric characters and a ton of sub-plots. While it wasn’t always easy to follow, Robrerge is able to derive a lot of fun moments from his entire cast.
Princess Frank plays a wannabe DJ named Phil, a guy who rocks all night and parties in various clubs all over the city with his girlfriend. Anxious to make some money he takes a job at a weird telemarketing company. It’s the bastion for a bunch of weird, eccentric, and goofy individuals, all of whom have their own quirks, some of which are either violent or obscene. Ron Jeremy and Nina Hartley have small roles in the film, so it’s pretty obvious where Roberg’s head space is in throughout the film. “Scumbag” is a bit too long in the tooth, if I have any complaints for it. At almost two hours in length, Roberge spends a good twenty minutes introducing every single character.
This brings the/entire narrative to a screeching halt, which is a shame since I was pretty engaged in the narrative most of the time. And just when the movie begins picking up momentum, Roberge introduces even more characters, and it becomes overcrowded. That said, “Scumbag” is an entertaining twist on the office comedy that delivers on some fun, and hefty laughs. I liked a lot of the characters, even when they were complete dicks. Roberge puts his character Phil through various scenarios, almost always getting in to trouble with these individuals, while trying to find a meaning to his life that hopefully isn’t about a mind numbing nine to five job.
I even like the odd ball musical number mid-way (Debra Haden is a cutey) mainly because Roberge’s characters have great chemistry with one another. “Scumbag” isn’t perfect, but I enjoyed the weird, random assortment of characters, and the twisted take on the office environment. Roberge creates a unique and worthwhile character oriented comedy and I recommend it for audiences anxious for something different and out of the ordinary.
Available for rent or purchase on various digital formats.