Plot summary (from the studio): Eight friends meet for their monthly “couples brunch.” But what starts as an impromptu therapy session / airing of domestic grievances takes a sudden, catastrophic turn when the city falls victim to a mysterious attack. Trapped in the house and unsure of their fates, these seemingly normal people become increasingly unhinged to hilarious, surprising, and revealing results.
IT’S A DISASTER is a fast-paced ensemble comedy about the worst brunch ever: the eggs are cold, the tensions are high, and the end is near.
Warning: Spoilers below!
- For an ensemble cast made up of several unknown (to me) actors (I only knew America Ferrera, Julia Stiles, and David Cross), none of the characters was annoying/unwatchable. I think that is a critical key for getting an ensemble film to work.
- There were some funny lines and moments sprinkled throughout the film. I wouldn’t call it a laugh-out-loud kind of comedy, but it wasn’t completely boring, either.
- The ending seems to be a bit controversial, as some other viewers have complained that it’s too “vague” or “ambiguous”. I didn’t see it that way at all. To me, it’s pretty clear that these people are to self-absorbed to actually go through with the suicide. That we saw two false takes before the credits roll just convinces me that they were going to on on like that for a while.
- Maybe I just wasn’t paying close enough attention, but it felt like it took forever for me to work out the different relationships between all the couples. Besides Stiles/Cross, I didn’t really understand what was happening with the other couples in terms of who had slept with whom, etc. This made some of the dialogue pretty confusing.
- Was there an actual life-threatening disaster out there? I couldn’t figure this one out. On the one hand, the late couple did seem to have passed out (died?) on the front steps of the house, indicating that perhaps the threat was real. On the other hand, it did seem way too quiet around there, and since this was a comedy, I half expected a “false alarm” message to be delivered at some point.
- I thought it was a little ridiculous that the David Cross character was some kind of Jim Jones religious fanatic. That totally came out of nowhere and didn’t make sense within the story or character arc.
- Was hoping for far more end-of-the-world related scenes (disaster crews, news reports, confessionals, panic), but that didn’t really happen. Sure, there was some confessing among the group (the inter-couple cheating, the one dude admitting to a hit-and-run that might have resulted in a homeless person’s death, etc.), but not enough.
I wasn’t really expecting much out of It’s a Disaster, but hoped that the presence of Julia Stiles and David Cross would help prevent it from living up to its title. That was mostly the case, but that doesn’t mean the film was anything great. I give it 3 stars out of 5.