SXSW Film: Barry Munday

Barry Munday is not your run of the mill everyday story about a guy and a girl. Only moments into the film, we are introduced to Barry (Patrick Wilson), a self-proclaimed tomcat who is really just a tool. You know the kind, everybody knows one guy like this, that can’t let one woman walk by without murmuring something obscene under his breath. He spends his free time at work parading the office looking for breasts to hit on, and scans the bars at night for anyone looking to “have a good time.” Everything seems to be going well in his life until he spends some time with a younger girl in a matinee movie, only to have her father show up with a trumpet. Next thing he knows, he’s lost his cojones. He spends the next few weeks being nursed back to health by his mother played by Jean Smart and on Xbox Live at home with ice on his “lack there of.”

Once he returns to work, while still walking funny, he receives some news that he got one of his one night stands pregnant. While still too embarrassed to tell anyone what had happened to him, he accepts the paternity and asks Ginger (Judy Greer), the pregnant woman, if he can be a part of her life, even though he doesn’t remember having sex with her.  He sees this as an opportunity to make a change in his life and jumps on it, since he’s realized he will never be able to reproduce again.

Ginger is not only a night he doesn’t remember, but one, he might not want to. She is what you would describe as a “plain Jane” who doesn’t seem to give a care in the world to fixing her frizzy red hair or finding clothes that match and fit her body properly. She is also very bossy and distant and has a habit of calling Barry a “shiteater” almost every time he engages a conversation with her. She puts up a tough exterior, but ends up letting Barry come to Dr.s appointments and meeting the family and so on.

As we watch their relationship move slightly forward, there is plenty of humor inserted. The questions he asks the doctor about birth for example, or the Prenancy for Idiots video being narrated by a very gay voice, to Ginger’s family. Her family is even more eccentric than Ginger, with a gorgeous sister that seems to be a bit of a slut, played by Chloe Sevigny, and her parents in matching track suits, Malcolm McDowell and Cybill Shepherd certainly set the bar for odd families. On a first meeting with Ginger’s Dad, he quickly takes him into his garage to give him “the speech” and we are able to stare into the vastly strange decorating skills this family possesses. At dinner, Jennifer, Ginger’s sister starts playing footsie under the table with Barry, making him very uncomfortable, and giving the audience plenty of laughs.

As the pregnancy continues, Barry is becoming more whole, as a grown man and less of a tool, and begins to show some slight feelings for Ginger. She still really wants nothing to do with him and continues to be very closed off. It’s not until the end that we start to see her open up to the possibility that Barry isn’t a terrible person to be a parent with and possibly be in a relationship with. Now, I won’t ruin the end of the film for you, but I have to warn you that you may lose control when it comes to a scene about “whales.” I laughed louder and deeper during this scene than anything thing else in the film. Although a very close second would be an impromptu meeting of survivors of genitalia loss brought together to help Barry cope. When Kyle Gass (Tenacious D) as Jerry, stands up and tells his story of how his penis was severed, you can’t help but laugh out loud. There is also a very odd character that has to stand in the corner and talk to the group with his back turned to tell his story, which is the strangest thing ever heard. The laughter that comes out of Barry for the meeting is just as real as my laughter was, which only added to the silliness. If Barry Munday comes to a town near you, make sure you call into your penis survivor’s group to go see this film.

I give Barry Munday 3.5 “whales” out of 5

by Angela Davis

About Angela

Angela is the Editor-in-Chief of Lost in Reviews. She and Ryan created Lost in Reviews together in 2009 out of a mutual hatred for all the stodgy old farts currently writing film reviews. Since launching the site, Angela has enjoyed reviewing indie films over all other films, picking up new music from all corners of the world and photographing live shows. She is the co-host of Blu Monday and a member of the Kansas City Film Critic Circle.



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