For no explainable reason the most awkward moments can also be the funniest… albeit with a higher cringe factor. Films like Office Space, Borat or a television series like Curb Your Enthusiasm have the ability to highlight the comedic value in non-traditional scenarios. Adapted from the novel ‘The Locklear Letters’ by Michael Kun, first time feature director Scott Abramovitch also wrote the screenplay for the film version entitled Eat Wheaties!. The film is filled with noticeable names and faces with the headliner belonging to Tony Hale (Arrested Development, Veep) as the extremely awkward Sid Straw; alongside Hale are Elisha Cuthbert (The Girl Next Door, 24), Danielle Brooks (Orange is the New Black), Alan Tudyk (Firefly), Paul Walter Hauser (Cobra Kai) and Sarah Chalke (Scrubs).
Sid although a very sweet and kind person lacks in social skills, pretty much making any scene involving him having you squirm in uneasiness. Sid’s issue is that he tries too hard to be accepted and be quick with a joke when nothing funny ever leaves his mouth. Unexpectedly chosen to help organize his college reunion Sid discovers the “magic” of social media or in this case Facebook. In trying to reconnect with an old schoolmate, Sid inadvertently ruins his whole life when he becomes infamous for stalking celebrity Elizabeth Banks (Pitch Perfect, The Hunger Games). The film is like watching a tiny snowball roll down a hill and becoming a huge boulder that collides into a mountain. Sid is completely oblivious to the repercussions of his actions but compared to his whole character I felt it did a disservice. Although cheesy in his approach, there are moments that Sid seems like a regular guy with no real fault other than not being sociable yet he is constantly put down or bullied. Hale plays Sid as straight forward he could but I think with a bit of Buster Bluth from Arrested Development this would have been a different film altogether.
As talented a cast there is in the film they were either not needed or underutilized. Most of the film is setting up for Sid’s big redemption story but to get there and in my opinion the biggest laughs of the film with his lawyer James Fisk, played by Hauser, we have to watch Sid get beat down a lot. Before Hauser shows up I was just angry at how unfairly Sid was treated and also mad at how clueless Sid was in his repetitive actions. I also thought it was a letdown not going for the obvious ending which we do get in a sense but it is during the credits. As much as I enjoy all the individuals involved sadly Sid could not pull a winner out of this situation.
2.5 out of 5
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