The 4th: A Cult Comedy in the Making

Andre Hyland in The 4th.

The 4th is a slacker comedy that has cult comedy classic written all over it.

Written and directed by Andre Hyland, the indie comedy’s main cast includes Hyland, Johnny Pemberton, Eliza Coupe, Yasmine Kittles, Anna Lee Lawson, and Paul Erling Oven.  Jeff Carpenter, John Ennis, John Forest, Brent Weinbach, Matt Peters, Al Burke, Ben Ceccarelli, Matty Cardarople, Andrew Dewitt, Byron Bowers, Shaun Parker, Erick Chavarria, Drew Droege, Frank Collison are also featured in the film.

Jamie (Hyland) is an illustrator and behind on his rent payment.  All he wants to do is buy some lighter fluid for the 4th of July holiday.  Well, he did buy it but he left it at the store and doesn’t have a receipt and just walked all the way back to where he lives.  He’s reluctant to borrow his roommate’s bike but does so anyway.  The bike ends up getting busted and the rest of the day couldn’t go possibly worse for Jamie.

When Jamie has to pee, he goes to a store but it’s for customers only and when he finally buys something and walks to the restroom, an annoying patron, Stacy (Coupe), beats him to it, using her looks to get out of having to be a paid customer.  He has to pee badly and ends up going outside.  In typical fashion, who passes by but the police to arrest him for indecent exposure.

Hyland knows how to find the funny in everyday encounters that should be a piece of cake.  He describes the film as being in the same spirit as his short film, Funnel: “one character’s journey on a low-stakes, pathetic adventure”

What’s really impressive about The 4th is just how quickly it came together as a feature film.  Even for a film as short as this one is, not many films will have the large majority of footage shot over the course of four days.  The 4th was supposed to be an exercise in using the new Adobe Premiere editing software but it soon turned into so much more.

“I knew once I finished the film, I’d either have a low budget feature, a long short film, or a mess I could learn from,” Hyland wrote before the film premiered during the 2016 Sundance Film Festival.

“After our first four-day shoot in May, we had about 70% of the film in the can, so instead of shooting pick-up shots of fireworks on the fourth of July, we scheduled a full three-day shoot,” Hyland says of the project. “The whole thing ended up shooting over the course of twelve days between May and into the fall, shooting a few days here and there as I edited it together.”

Following it’s world premiere during the Sundance Next competition in 2016, Gravitas Ventures picked up distribution rights and will release The 4th in select theaters and Digital HD on Friday, July 21, 2017.

Danielle Solzman

Danielle Solzman is native of Louisville, KY, and holds a BA in Public Relations from Northern Kentucky University and a MA in Media Communications from Webster University. She roots for her beloved Kentucky Wildcats, St. Louis Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts, and Boston Celtics. Living less than a mile away from Wrigley Field in Chicago, she is an active reader (sports/entertainment/history/biographies/select fiction) and involved with the Chicago improv scene. She also sees many movies and reviews them. She has previously written for Redbird Rants, Wildcat Blue Nation, and Hidden Remote/Flicksided. From April 2016 through May 2017, her film reviews can be found on Creators.

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