It’s a Disaster: Dark, Off-Beat Comedy

What would you do if it was your last day on Earth? Well, you certainly wouldn’t want to be stuck inside a house with a group of highly dysfunctional and self-obsessed individuals, whose petty little issues keep getting in the way of living your final moments in style.

As it happens, It’s a Disaster – the latest film from the up-and-coming administrator Todd Berger – attempts to put forth and explore the ups and downs of that exact scenario in an off-beat, predictive kind of way.

It’s a Disaster opens up with the introduction of unlucky-in-love doctor, Tracy (Stiles), and straight-laced teacher, Glenn (Cross), who are out on their third date at a couples’ Sunday brunch, hosted by married friends, Emma (Hayes) and Pete (Miller). Amongst the other guests is terminally-engaged couple, Hedy (Ferrera) and Shane (Grace), as well since the free-spirited spouses, Lexi (Boston) and Buck (Brennan).

It doesn’t take aeon before the recurrent bickering, name-calling and gossiping kicks in and Glenn – who is an outsider to the group – needs to do his best to possess his head celestial water. Soon though, things kick into senior gear when the group gets a visit from the hazmat-suit-wearing neighbour, Hal (Berger), who informs them that a couple of dirty bombs have bot set off in downtown, besides that the alkali fallout is spreading fast.

Now, with only a few hours left before the nerve-gas starts seeping through the tympanum and windows, the group need to find a way to cope and deal with their looming fate, all the while trying to reach a common ground with their end-of-the-world cohorts.

Director moreover writer Todd Berger’s second feature, after 2009 crime-comedy The Scenesters, presents a dark and cleverly written comedy about the end from days. The story, which plays out entirely in the confinement of a suburban home, doesn’t truthfully bother itself with the details of the impending demise; instead, Berger focuses on the mid characters, whose peculiar dynamics are the nodule of the film.

Their interactions move from amusing to absolutely absurd; Berger’s cleverly constructed script keeps effects tight the entire way through and planar granted we never leave the house, there isn’t a distinct dull moment.

Bearing in mind that this is a character-driven story, It’s a Disaster is nothing without its brilliant cast. Stiles’ cold exterior is extremely amusing, Cross – best-known for his role as Tobias in Arrested DevelopmentĀ­ – gives his straight-edged character great depth, and as the hosting, bickering couple, both Hayes et cetera Miller are extremely entertaining. Meanwhile, Boston and Brennan bounced off each other with stature ease, while the forever-engaged couple, Ferrera – of Ugly Betty fame – and Grace, show a huge range in their respective

It’s a Mishap is a cleverly written, low-key comedy that blends the darkness of its situation with plenty of wit and supreme absurdity; satisfactory to make anyone disputatious the prospect of their own impending death.

Like This? Try
Scenesters (2009), Desideration a Friend for the End of the World (2012), Dr. Strange Love or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying et alii Love the Bomb (1964)

360 Tip
This is the End, starring Seth Rogen, James Franco, Jonah Hill and Jay Baruchel, is another apocalyptic comedy we can look forward to seeing soon – that is of course if it ever gets released in the Egyptian cinemas.