June 5, 2014 at 5:48 pm EST | by Mariah Cooper
Outrageous ‘People’ too madcap to fully jell
Randy Harrison, Michael Urie, Such Good People, gay news, Washington Blade, Reel Affirmations

Randy Harrison and Michael Urie in ‘Such Good People.’ (Photo courtesy of Reel Affirmations)

“Such Good People,” a 95-minute screwball comedy directed by Stewart Wade, tells the story of Richard (Michael Urie) and his husband, Alex (“Queer as Folk” vet Randy Harrison), who discover a million dollars while housesitting for a rich humanitarian couple. When the couple tragically dies, Richard and Alex steal the money while the police and Alex’s half-sister Paige (Carrie Wiita) and her husband Cooper (James Urbaniak) are on to their secret. What follows is an all out war for the house of everyone’s dreams and the secret stash of cash.

The problem with this film is that for a comedy, there isn’t any reason to laugh. The wacky hijinks are too far fetched to be believed and not entertaining enough to be enjoyed. Richard and Alex, although likable, continuously make stupid decisions and it becomes increasingly difficult to root for them to come out on top.

The story by David Michael Barrett oozes “I Love Lucy”-type shenanigans but the plot is too long winded. There is too much happening at one time, including a porpoise charity, a priceless ancient Buhtan statue, trying to save orphans in Buhtan and other secrets being revealed what felt like every second, that it’s hard to care what will happen next.

The cast gives an admirable effort to make the movie enjoyable but the writing leaves most efforts in failure. Character development is rushed, especially regarding Richard, presented as lacking self-esteem and obsessed with money far too late in the film for it to be believed.

Although the movie tries to cram every crazy scenario into 95 minutes, the direction lacks energy. The cinematography also gives no life to the story. The start of the film is filled with a long, boring montage of Richard and Alex having fun housesitting but the characters are the only ones having a good time.

However, there are a couple laugh-out loud moments (although far too few for a comedy) — a cameo from Lance Bass as a charity worker and snappy commentary on the antics from Detective Diane Kershman (Ana Ortiz).

“Such Good People” tries its best to be among the comedic ranks of other screwball comedies such as “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum” and “Raising Arizona,” but falls substantially short.

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