An Evening with Beverly Luff Linn: A Rare Miss

Aubrey Plaza as Lulu Danger in the comedy AN EVENING WITH BEVERLY LUFF LINN, a Universal Pictures Content Group film. Photo courtesy of Universal Pictures Content Group.

Featuring the likes of Aubrey Plaza and Craig Robinson, An Evening with Beverly Luff Linn is the rare miss for some of our favorite comedy stars.

Who is Beverly Luff Linn (Craig Robinson)?  This is one of the questions that drives the story of the film with posters plastered everywhere.  What is it that drives Lulu Danger (Aubrey Plaza) to attend his show?  While these questions are good in and of themselves, the film itself simply isn’t.  This is a shame given the star-studded cast, especially the involvement of Plaza and Robinson.

We first meet Lulu shortly before she gets fired by her husband, Shane Danger (Emile Hirsch), at the orders of corporate.  The cappuccino shop is losing money so somebody has to go.  Of course, it’s the woman!  Is there a reason to ever doubt that Lulu would be the one to lose her job?  All of the sexism notwithstanding, this only moves the needle ever so much because Lulu sees someone from her past appear in a TV ad.  This happens to be the titular Beverly Luff Linn.

As Lulu loses all purpose of her life at home so to speak, Shane is on the verge of a breakdown or something.  Along with two employees, Shane plots a plan to steal from the store of Lulu’s adopted brother, Adjay (Sam Dissanayake).  Why Shane does this is beyond me but Colin (Jemaine Clement) hears what happened and decides to help Adjay get revenge.  There’s only so much that they can do with this aspect of the story.  What is it that drives Shane’s jealousy of Adjay?  When Colin tries getting the funds back, it’s Lulu who surprises everyone by running off.

We soon get our answers as to who this mysterious Beverly Luff Linn figure is and it comes with all sorts of grunts that we think he may be Frankenstein (We learn as to why this is eventually).  Seriously.  I don’t mean any disrespect but there’s so much discomfort in watching that I had to keep myself awake during the film.  This is a cast that leads one to believe that the film would be an outright comedy but the laughs I was expecting never truly arrived.

The production has a feel that dates it around the late 1970s or early 1980s with the hair styles and Christina Blackaller’s costume design.  I don’t know what it is about the colors but they pretty much feel just right for the film’s aesthetic.  It all fits into the awkwardness of the film.

Director Jim Hosking co-writes the script with David Wike but ultimately, the material does not know which way it’s going, left or right.  It’s unfortunate for a cast that could very well have made a sub-par film almost par.  Unfortunately, this talented cast is not able to lift up An Evening with Beverly Luff Linn.

DIRECTOR:  Jim Hosking
SCREENWRITERS:  Jim Hosking & David Wike
CAST:  Aubrey Plaza, Emile Hirsch, Jemaine Clement, Matt Berry, and Craig Robinson

Universal Pictures will open An Evening with Beverly Luff Linn in select theaters, Digital, and VOD platforms on October 19, 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.

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