Matthew Aldrich, Michelle Thompson, Eric Wheeler, Philip Wofford
WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY
David M. Flanagan
S-Club (DVD) (1998), My Hero Productions (2011)
Kevin (Matthew Aldrich) has never had it easy. When life finally becomes more than he can handle, he finally resolves to end it all. Unfortunately for Kevin, even dying proves to be incredibly difficult. He returns to Molly (Michelle Thompson), a quirky yet beautiful bookstore clerk, who convinces Kevin to let her help him create the world's most awesomely perfect suicide.
Yeah. You guessed it. This is a love story.
Originally filmed in the late 90's but now gaining new life on home video, My Sweet Suicide is a film that shows its age yet keeps you watching thanks to writer/director David M. Flanagan's appealing characters and the absolutely delightful performances of co-leads Matthew Aldrich and Michelle Thompson.
Aldrich, who wrote the 2007 Samuel L. Jackson flick Cleaner, gives a funny yet emotionally grounded performance as Kevin, a young man who starts to realize he may have found a reason to live after the wheels are in motion to end his life. Michelle Thompson, who unfortunately only had a couple minor acting credits to her name after this film, captured the prize for Best Actress at the 1998 Brooklyn Film Festival for her performance here as the darkly humorous and endearing Molly.
My Sweet Suicide captured the prize for Best Picture at the 1998 Sacramento Film Festival, a prize likely reflecting audience's appreciation for Flanagan's surprisingly heartwarming script and ability to balance the film's darker themes with its even richer sense of humanity. Strangely enough, the film works best when it's focusing on the relationship between Kevin and Molly and falters slightly in the few scenes where it turns more dramatic. Whether dark or funny, Aldrich and Thompson have a remarkable chemistry that makes you wonder how neither one has found steady work in Hollywood.
Tyler Thompson's camera work is fine, though it's abundantly clear from watching the film just how much technology has improved in the past 10-12 years, while the same can be said for John Flanagan's simple score that evokes memories of several lightly romantic films from the 80's and 90's. While the film's age shows, it still holds up and it's easy to understand why it's getting a second life on home video.
© Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic