Film and TV

Harmony and Me

Slight, indifferently shot and entirely lacking in ballast, Harmony and Me's sole justification for being is that it's consistently very funny. Harmony (Justin Rice) has a life full of (ha!) discord; obsessing over his ex, Jessica (Kristen Tucker), he floats through a boring tech job, takes piano lessons and generally screws around in the kind of low-stakes economic freefall that a college town like Austin, Texas, can sustain. Harmony should theoretically be a comedy of awkwardness — it's got ugly broken marriages, pedophile jokes and a suicide attempt — but with hilarious dialogue, it's poised at the exact sweet spot where awkward encounters don't make the audience themselves uncomfortable, just amused. Director Bob Byington understands comic editing, cutting scenes to their essence — rarely longer than a minute — and gets the most out of a sharp cast. His film is continually quotable, from Harmony's query to a friend driving his mom's cracked-windshield minivan — "Is that like an ongoing adrenal rush of low self-esteem?" — to a morning-after exchange with a deranged neighbor. She: "You got some in my hair." He: "That wasn't unintentional." It's deceptively loose but always on point — like Bottle Rocket, only with no visual style, stakes, tension or real substance. Nothing wrong with that.

KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Vadim Rizov

Latest Stories