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‘Hickey’ (review)

Produced by Lije Sarki, Michael Mackey,
Chris Sacca, Josh Woods, Alex Grossman
Written and Directed by Alex Grossman
Starring Troy Doherty, Flavia Watson,
Raychel Diane Weiner, Zedrick Restauro,
Alex Ashbaugh, Ross Mackenzie,
Nicholas Azarian, Tommy “Tiny” Lister

 

I watch a lot of indie movies.  If I am not sure what to watch, my first move is to pull up the Netflix independent film section and look at the films I haven’t watched already.

I generally get drawn to coming of age or relationship dramas/comedies and get absorbed in the prosaic dialogue that usually follows.

Hickey will wind up on the indie section of Netflix sooner rather than later.

As far as John Hughes inspired indie dramedies go, Hickey has it all.

Unrequited love, artificial urgency, clueless or eccentric parents and plenty of other hallmarks of the coming of age flick we have grown to love over the years.  Ryan (Troy Doherty) is a genius who is thinking about not going away to MIT so he doesn’t have to leave Carly (Flavia Watson). You mix that with some quirky surrounding characters and you have yourself a perfectly watchable, if ultimately unspectacular film.

There is a problem when your main character is supposed to be a genius. If you don’t demonstrate the genius early on, like the effective “I’m pretty good with numbers” scene from 21 or the Good Will Huntingbar scene” it’s pretty hard to really illustrate the level of thinking your protagonist has. Writer/Director Alex Grossman writes very solid dialogue and the characters are likeable so it’s easy to put that small failing aside.

On the other hand there are some real high points in this movie. There is a Jews for Jesus bit in the middle of the film that is both strange and hilarious at the same time. There is also some throwback 8-bit animation that is amusing too.

The real stars of this movie are the women. Flavia Watson is confident, beautiful and strong as Ryan’s unrequited love interest. The character I enjoyed most though, is tough girl Ellen, played by Raychel Diane Weiner.  Every scene she is in, she dominates and amuses. Her body language and expressiveness without words hint towards her start as a professional dancer. She’s a star.  The casting is very solid all throughout with Troy Doherty being the only one who seems out of his depth at times.

All in all Hickey is a nice diversion. It is enjoyable, funny at times and has a heartfelt sweetness to it that comes shining through on the screen.

3 stars out of five

 

Hickey is now available on DVD, Blu-ray and Digital HD

 

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