15 March 2008 | larry-411
Sexton and Fogler are a great team -- classic comedy
Laughter filled the Alamo Ritz on Sunday afternoon at the World Premiere of "The Marconi Bros." at the 2008 SXSW Film Festival. This was the first all-out comedy I'd seen since I arrived and it provided a good dose of much-needed levity.
Brendan Sexton III and Dan Fogler are Anthony and Carmine Marconi, brothers in their father's carpet business who, through a series of mishaps and misfortunes, aspire to join the wonderful world of wedding photography. It's a laugh-out-loud thrill ride which wowed the audience and was a refreshing change from the dark material so prevalent at recent festivals.
The strength of "The Marconi Bros." lies in the chemistry between Sexton and Fogler. Much of the film leans towards farce but director Marco Ricci and Michael Canzoniero keep it from straying too far over the line. Ultimately, the audience ends up on a wild thrill ride -- the caper at the heart of the film wandered into my mind's "Pink Panther" territory. So much of the plot is admittedly silly and implausible yet I smiled all the way through to the end credits.
Despite being an indie, "The Marconi Bros." definitely has the look and feel of a Hollywood movie. The use of HDCam is helping to keep the cost of films lower, allowing more resources to be put into areas like lighting, sets, and post-production. In addition, the filmmakers explained in the Q&A afterward that many of the locations, color processing, and other elements important to the look, feel, and sound of the film were donated. The result is a slick, polished work that should appeal to a wide audience.