17 October 2008 | Golgo-13
"Straight up is fine."
Throughout his impressive filmography, Michael Fredianelli has always been willing to mix-and-match genres within individual features, but I cannot recall "romantic comedy" ever really being at the forefront like it was in A Bird in the Bush. The story, about the awkward relationship of a neurotic loser (and titular "bird," destined for capture or companionship, or perhaps both) and an unbalanced blond (Jana Ireton, in a strong performance) whose serendipitous pairing leads them from an innocuous husband-and-wife ruse (gone wrong in the most amusing of ways) all the way to being on the run from low-rent mafia killers with a crime witness in tow, is somewhat reminiscent of True Romance, only with a deeper level of characterization in the leads and more slapstick, un-pc humor, and oddball antics. Even the mob boss, Daddy Don Guido (delightfully caricatured by Ronald Kaplan), seems to be channeling a less homosexual version of Saul Rubinek's angry persona from that Tony Scott flick. Aaron Stielstra's brief role as the Flatulent Hobo (a powerful part he seemed born to play) would leave anyone in stitches, including his dummy double, who suffers reckless abuse in several hilariously unexpected scenes (one of which being an expectedly rousing car chase). It was also nice to see Michael Nosé (among other Wild Dogs regulars) back in action, especially in one inspired bit where he was trying to pass himself off as a Vietnamese orphan.
"Lady, anything that black cannot be cute."
Unless we're talking about the humor in a Fredianelli romantic comedy, of course. A Bird in the Bush is not the kind of film I typically seek out but it goes in so many quirky directions be it the dramatic exchange between Babs, her hateful mother and enabling father or glass-pane carriers avoiding disaster during the aforementioned chase sequence only to unluckily slip on a shiny penny that it's hard not to be thoroughly entertained by it.
The DVD includes a few good trailers and some funny outtakes, plus a bonus short in the form of a revealing "hobo" documentary. Let's just say that there are some strange human breeds out West there. Sadly, the short is all too short; I can definitely see a full-length Fredianelli doc on this profound subject matter striking it big with fans and hoopties alike.