An Evening with Beverly Luff Lin: Film Review

I am quite the Aubrey Plaza fan, so I wanted to check out An Evening with Beverly Luff Lin – and I wished I hadn’t. It is soooo not my cup of tea.

She plays Lulu, who is fired from a coffee shop run by her manager husband Shane (Emile Hirsch) and is getting fed up of the unemployed life, sitting on the couch watching TV. One night, a commercial comes on advertising a magical one-night only event starring Beverly Luff Lin (Craig Robinson), who she seems to know, in a nearby hotel, and she uses Colin (Jemaine Clement), who appears at her house to retrieve stolen money, to take her there.

I should have known this wouldn’t be up my street after realising it was made by director Jim Hosking, the man behind The Greasy Strangler, which I deliberately chose not to see because it looked too grim and disgusting. Still, I tried to go in with an open mind, but Luff Lin just isn’t my bag. The premise seems normal enough but the characters are very weird, the thin plot takes unexpected, odd turns and by the end you can’t help but wonder what the whole point was.

You know it’s not going to be the height of realism from the outset, with Hirsch yelling and scowling theatrically. Everyone is deliberately overacting and you can’t help but laugh at it until it becomes annoying. Luckily, Lulu and Colin seem quite normal in comparison and for that reason I liked them the best. Colin falls in love with Lulu and his desperation to win her over was my favourite element of the film and actually quite enjoyable.

The evening with Luff Lin is promised to be magical and you don’t know what the night is going to entail, and this mystery is dragged out as the event is cancelled two nights in a row, leaving us wondering some more. You assume he has some supernatural powers as he can’t speak, he only grunts, which his manager and partner Rodney (Matt Berry) helps translate. The revelation at the end is surprising, funny in a WTF way, and not at all what I expected.

This is extremely offbeat, baffling stuff and I’m not gonna lie, I could have done with it being a fair bit shorter. It runs out of gas and you can’t help but be annoyed when the night is cancelled again, because you know the end isn’t as close as you’d hoped. By the end, I had lost my patience and switched off.

I don’t want to completely slate it because the film has some entertaining moments that made me genuinely laugh, but they were in the minority and there was too much weird stuff that was quite uncomfortable to watch. Plaza and Clement were good fun though, working their usual deadpan, awkward magic.

This is an extremely niche film which will only appeal to a narrow audience, which doesn’t include me. Who knows, it may end up with a cult following. For now: Consider yourself warned.

In selected cinemas from Friday 26th October

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