SXSW 2018: Most Likely to Murder

Adam Pally, Rachel Bloom and Vincent Kartheiser in MOST LIKELY TO MURDER. Photo Credit: Lionsgate

As Most Likely To Murder premieres at the SXSW Film Festival, the comedy noir is the rare film that makes a crazy ex-boyfriend villain out of its star.

Billy Green, a lowly concierge working in Las Vegas, finds himself back hometown of Valley Stream for Thanksgiving.  He may talk up Vegas and act like he’s boss there but he’s not living the glamorous life that he tells people.  Unlike his old classmates, he’s still stuck in the past and determined to get back with his high school girlfriend, Kara Dublowski (Rachel Bloom).  Instead, Billy is disappointed to learn that Kara is now in a relationship with Lowell Shapiro.  Lowell was considered to be a loner in high school he is now a pharmacist in town.  Lowell becomes the first person that Kara dates that “isn’t a complete douchebag.”

Billy’s drummer friend Duane (Doug Mand) is more or less at the same maturity level.  As the rest of their classmates have matured and grown up, they are still ten years behind so to speak.  Billy takes his immaturity to the next level when he learns that Lowell’s mom (Constance Shulman) suddenly dies with no explanation.  Billy suspects there’s some foul play at hand and he won’t stop until he is able to prove that his arch-nemesis, Lowell, is the culprit.

Factor in Officer Jason Perkins (John Reynolds), who is now married to Elana (Rebecca Naomi Jones), and it’s not going to go so well for Billy.

Longtime writing partners Dan Gregor and Doug Mand team up to give us Most Likely to Murder.  The film has some funny elements that blend well when mixed with its noir material.  After the backstory is given in the first act, the film is really able to get going once the comedy enters noir territory.

Pally, who had a leading role in 2017’s Band-Aid, has a darker role here to say the least.  It’s fun to watch him play against type as he revisits his high school days.

Bloom works well opposite the Happy Endings alumnus although she doesn’t get nearly as much material to work with.  It feels as though the men get more speaking roles than the women do in the picture.  As characters go, Kara Dublowski and Rebecca Bunch couldn’t be more opposite.  Unlike Rebecca, it’s Kara who finds herself super-annoyed that Billy is still trying to pursue her even though he never really matured beyond the asshole they were in high school.

Kartheiser, for what it’s worth, plays it straight and that’s alright.  The Mad Men alumnus isn’t really known for his comedic chops in the same way as the rest of the cast.

Most Likely to Murder is a fun comedy noir and takes advantage of the chemistry between the cast.  It’s bound to become a classic for the ages.

DIRECTOR:  Dan Gregor
SCREENWRITERS:  Dan Gregor and Doug Mand
CAST:  Adam Pally, Rachel Bloom, Vincent Kartheiser, John Reynolds, Didi Conn, Ethan Phillips, Doug Mand, Hasan Minhaj, Rebecca Naomi Jones, Julia Goldani Telles

An official selection of the 2018 SXSW Film Festival, Most Likely To Murder premieres as a part of the Narrative Spotlight program. Lionsgate will release on DVD, VOD, and Digital on May 1, 2018.

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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *