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Benny Loves You – 2019

Written and Directed by Karl Holt
Starring Karl Holt, Claire Cartwright, George Collie, James Parsons, David Wayman, Lydia Hourihan

Benny Loves You is the kind of film that wears each of its obvious blemishes like a badge of wacky armor. The story is a rough sketch turned into an hour and a half. The premise is what happens when a good doll gets thrown to the side. Unlike the loving dolls in the Toy Story series, these stuffed animals have a vendetta.

Things go awry for Jack on his 35th birthday. His Mom and Dad, whom he is living with, both die horribly by accident. Ten months later he starts going through problems at work just as the house is about to be foreclosed. While Jack makes an effort to move forward in life, he decides to rid himself of things he’s been holding onto since childhood.

The key to the tale is not telling a completely coherent story. Instead, the point is to put Jack in situations where he has to clean up after his messy doll, Benny as the doll cleans up on the messy relationships of his life. There are some clever jokes here and there, including a recurring theme of weapons being dragged with sparks in their wake. And then there’s the whole sequence with the dog named Precious that works.

There are no memorable characters, few memorable deaths and no camera angles that resonate. We’re not looking for Shakespeare here. We’re not even getting Stephen King during the cocaine years.

This is likely to be a late night film with friends and Taco Bell and whatever else one decides to ingest. It’s not the time one makes the best decisions anyway.

(**1/2 out of *****)

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