Monday, June 9, 2014

Cottage Country – Family Comes Second to Girlfriends

Runtime: 91 minutes
Release Date: March 14, 2013
Rating: Peter Wellington
Director: NR?

While her boyfriend Todd (Tyler Labine, "Tucker and Dale vs. Evil") is at work, Cammie decides to pack his bag for their weekend trip to his family's cabin/lake house, which leads to her finding an engagement ring. Knowing that he plans to propose, she wants the weekend to go perfectly. Not long after arriving, Todd's brother Salinger unexpectedly shows up with his girlfriend Masha. Masha is a little quirky, and Salinger is just a pain in the ass. Cammie agrees to go for a hike in the woods as long as Todd convinces his brother to leave.

Instead of having the peaceful conversation he hopes for, Todd ends up throwing his brother's expensive headphones in the lake. That leads to a fight, which ends with Todd knocking him out and tossing him out of the house. After packing his brother's stuff, Salinger attacks him from behind, and Todd grabs an ax and swings it at his brother, accidentally killing him. Todd hides his body and makes up a story when the girls come back, but he realizes that he has to tell Cammie the truth.

Though he attempts to prose to her, she stops him because it isn't the right time. When he reveals what happened, she decides that they need to take care of Masha and then they can take a trip to a nearby island in the lake and get engaged. The two trick Masha into coming into the kitchen, Todd wusses out before killing her with a knife, and Cammie does the job for him. They cut the bodies into smaller pieces, place the pieces in garbage bags, and dump them in the lake. Unfortunately for them, they arrive home just in time to find that Salinger invited a bunch of friends to the lake house for a party and many of them want to know what happened to their friend...

Cottage Country popped up as a recommendation after watching Tucker and Dale vs. Evil, and since I've been a fan of Labine since his Dead Last days, I had to watch it. Don't worry if you don't remember that show. I think The WB only ran six episodes or less before canceling it. Unfortunately, the movie wasn't nearly as funny as I hoped.

The problem is that Labine goes against type and it just doesn't work. Instead of playing the funny guy, he tries to play the straight guy. He's the guy who spends long hours at work, is afraid to stand up to his boss, and basically does whatever his girlfriend tells him. For god's sake, they even wear matching clothes at one point! It seems really odd, and given that this is supposed to be a horror/comedy, it's sad that the director didn't use his talents.

Lucy Punch, who plays Masha, is the funniest person in the movie but that isn't saying much. She tends to slur her words to the point where you either need to listen far too closely, turn your television up way too loud, or wait for one of the other characters to translate for her. She does have a fairly funny scene in the woods, where she talks about how her mother ended up in prison and pretends to kill herself with poisonous mushrooms, but her character is gone a few scenes later.

There's also an incredibly odd character named Dov in the field. He's supposed to be an Orthodox Jew, but when I first saw him, I swore he was just a hipster. He keeps talking about his studies and being a "good man" while drinking and smoking pot. He also constantly asks about Salinger, to the point where you want to just smack him. The only good part about his character was the way he left the film. Seriously, they make it out like Salinger does crazy stuff all the time, but Dov swears that he would never invite people over for a party and just disappear. That actually sounds exactly like something he would do.

Cottage Country failed on a number of different levels, and it was quite the come down after watching a movie I love right before it.

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