Oh look, somebody got Jim Gaffigan to narrate their student film.
Wait, isn’t it?
“I’ve Got Issues” is an attempt at “absurdist comedy,” bouncing through scores upon scores of VERY short vignettes, some so brief (a minute or less) that their title — “The Hurt,” “The Wooing of Susan,” “The Slippery Slope Job Interview” — is on the screen seemingly as long as the sketch.
That’s what writer-director Steve Collins serves up here, black-out sketches, perhaps aimed at making a point, most assuredly failing in that aim dozens of times.
A generally unknown and unpolished cast deadpans through “The Healer” (a “fraud” guru, played by Paul Gordon — I think), “Why Has it Got to Be Like This?” “Mr. Pizza” and “Please Help Mr. Pizza” and “Please Help Griselda.”
A sample sketch — “The Wooing of Owlnor” — has a Medieval performer explain and explain the tale he’s going to tell to a sparse senior center audience, announcing he’s telling it in Middle English, and promptly clearing the room.
Being unknowns, with scanty identification of character names and inadequate credits, one is left grappling with the hope that “Maybe bearded guy is in the next one (he’s almost funny)” or “Why did Collins try to create an Imitation Craig Robinson (“The Office”) etc.?”
That is Randy E. Aguebor’s lot here. Playing a keyboard, singing a song onto a cassette, sticking it in his mailbox, addressed to “Hollywood,” hoping for a break.
God knows the viewer is.
Gaffigan opens and closes with a morose, inane (scripted) lament, a shrugging “Humans...they struggle.”
As indeed Collins does. As will you. Honestly, I’m not sure Collins stays on topic (seven deadly sins, human foibles, things we “struggle” with emotionally) more than half the time.
NONE of these vignettes are funny. None. Cryptic and revealing? Nope.
I’m giving this one star for the decent indie cinema production values, and out of pity for the actors.
MPAA Rating: unrated
Cast: Macon Blair, Claire Titelman, Paul Gordon, Jim Merriman, Maria Thayer, Byron Brown, narrated by Jim Gaffigan
Credits: Written and directed by Steve Collins. A Gravitas Ventures release.
Running time: 1:28