Film Review: DONALD CRIED (USA 2015) ***

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donald_cried.jpgDirector: Kris Avedisian (as Kristopher Avedisian)
Writers: Kris Avedisian (as Kristopher Avedisian), Kris Avedisian (screenplay)
Stars: Jesse Wakeman, Kris Avedisian, Louisa Krause

Review by Gilbert Seah

 DONALD CRIED is a weird title for a movie. The reason it is called that comes clear after half the movie has passed – and it is as weird a movie as its title. But not a bad one. DONALD CRIED is a two handler comedy about two losers. But don’t let what has been said turn you off this movie. Kris Avedisian who wrote and directed the film also stars as Donald and in DONALD CRIED has helmed a very original comedy piece that despite its simple setting, is an absorbing watch from start to end.

The first loser is Peter Latang (Jesse Wakeman). Peter had left his childhood home of Warwick, Rhode Island to reinvent himself as a slick, Wall Street mover and shaker. He is suddenly forced to return home to bury his grandmother. He hates Warwick. When the film opens, Peter arrives at the house and finds that he has lost his wallet on the train and unable to pay the cab driver. Peter is so annoying that the cab driver lets him off with the $15 fare instead of taking him to the train station to try to recover the wallet. Stranded and broke, Peter looks to the only person he can think of to help him out – his next door neighbour and former childhood friend Donald (played by Avedisian).

Then, the audience is introduced to an even greater loser – Donald.
Donald is a man-child who is more annoying than Peter. He speaks too close to ones face, is too much of a hugger and wears really bad clothes. Besides going on and on about things no one wants to hear about, Donald also unknowingly insults the one his is talking too. Imagine the question he asks Peter: “Do you masturbate still?” One scene has Donald at his place, almost naked reminiscing to Peter about old times. But the clincher scene has Peter waiting for Donald to finish playing his video game.

The rest of the film just follows the two ‘friends’ as they try to wrangle some cash that Peter desperately needs. They meet old acquaintances and do odd things like play football in the snow.

There are two segments that show the audience how f***ed-up Donald is. It is discovered that Donald had been impersonating Peter while is grandmother was sill alive. Donald pretended to be Peter so that the late grandmother would think her grandson had not left town. Another has Donald busting into the sex-making of Peter and his crush. These set-ups work well to test the relationship of the two buddies.

DONALD CRIED has begun its Toronto run at the Carlton Cinema from March 17th. The film won the American Independents Audience Award at AFI Fest and was an official selection at the 2016 SXSW Film Festival.



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