SXSW 2019: Extra Ordinary

Will Forte (Christian Winter) and Maeve Higgins (Rose Dooley) in Extra Ordinary. Photo Credit: James Mather

Extra Ordinary is a wildly fun supernatural comedy with just a side of romance thrown in when it comes to this film set in a rural area of Ireland.

It’s always fun when films find a fun way to combine comedy with the supernatural.  Anytime a film deals with the supernatural, it can go one of two ways.  In the instance of this film, filmmakers Mike Ahern and Enda Loughman aim to have fun.

There’s a few things going on here in this fun Irish-set film.  We meet Rose (Maeve Higgins), who happens to own Rose’s Driving School.  She’s not just any driving instructor but one that falls into the category of being a medium.  Sadly, it does not matter that Rose can talk to spirits.  If you asked her, she would have nothing to do with these psychic talents.  It’s her gift whether she likes it or not.

A potential client comes in the form of Martin Martin (Barry Ward).  Naturally, Rose is reluctant to work with him.  He’s being haunted by his dead wife.  This is not in a way that would come off as very sinister in a more dramatic film.  Instead, it’s more of a comical way such as using cabinets to hit him on the head or reminding him to pay bills and such.  Or writing messages on a piece of toasted bread.

Meanwhile, one-hit wonder Christian Winter (Will Forte) is looking to make a deal in order to revitalize his music career and get back on the charts.  He’ll do whatever it takes even if it means sacrificing a virgin or worse.  Naturally, he finds this virgin in the form of Martin’s daughter, Sarah (Emma Coleman).  Christian’s wife, Claudia (Claudia O’Doherty), continues to work with him until he takes things too far to the point in which she’s uncomfortable.

I’m not lying when I say how fun this film is.  Extra Ordinary manages to enter slapstick comedy territory during Rose’s efforts in trying to learn why Martin’s wife still haunts him.  Barry Ward really puts on quite the acting job in this regard.  After all, his character’s dead wife manages to take over his body, voice mannerisms and all.  Meanwhile, Will Forte is…well, he’s Will Forte.  It doesn’t matter what film or TV shows that he’s in because he’s going to give it his all.

If you’re looking for a supernatural comedy that doesn’t include any busting, you’ll probably enjoy Extra Ordinary.

DIRECTORS/SCREENWRITERS:  Mike Ahern & Enda Loughman
CAST:  Maeve Higgins, Barry Ward, Jamie Beamish, Terri Chandler, Risteárd Cooper, Emma Coleman, with Will Forte and Claudia O’Doherty

Extra Ordinary holds its world premiere during the 2019 SXSW Film Festival in the Narrative Feature Competition. Grade: 4/5

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.