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A Good First Effort From the Man Formerly Known as Randal....
We all know and love Randal Graves (Jeff Anderson) from the Clerks movies. I saw this movie a couple of years ago at Vulgarthon, which is basically a Kevin Smith film festival. In fact, I can see myself in the crowd during the Q&A on this DVD which is pretty neat! :-) I will be honest and say that I did not have high hopes for this movie. I did not expect it to be bad, but I was certainly pleasantly surprised at how good it was and as one person stated during the Q&A, I now think of Jeff Anderson as Jeff Anderson, not as Randal. He has definitely come into his own and should be recognized for having talents all his own and beyond his quick-talking role in Kevin Smith's movies.
Now You Know is about a couple who are engaged and on the eve of their wedding the bride-to-be (Rashida Jones) calls off the wedding with (seemingly) no explanation, leaving the groom (Jeremy Sisto) confused and at a loss as to what he should do next.
One of the high points of the film is definitely the casting. For the most part the cast is impeccable and the acting is great. Jeremy Sisto is quickly becoming one of my favorite actors consistently surprising me in the unique and independent films he chooses to be in. His performance here is no exception, he is excellent as the sweet and baffled Jeremy. One hilarious fun fact is that according to Jeff Anderson his first choice for the role of Jeremy was Joey Lawrence! He said that Lawrence auditioned and was absolutely perfect but he couldn't bring himself to cast him simply because "come on, it's Joey Lawrence." Anyhow, Sisto fills the part just fine, although it would have been interesting to see Lawrence in the part as well.
I was happy to see Jones in the role of Kerri--the only other thing I have seen her in is one episode of the much beloved show Freaks and Geeks. She does just fine as the dissatisfied and confused Kerri.
In supporting roles we have Anderson as Gil, one of Jeremy's old friends, who does great as always. We also have a wonderful performance by Heather Paige Kent whom I used to watch in an underrated and short-lived TV show called That's Life. She turns in a remarkable performance here as the supportive friend of Kerri with a big problem of her own. I hope to see her in more movies in the future. In my opinion the only weak point in the casting is Trevor Fehrman as Bisquit, Jeremy and Gil's buddy. His performance is forgettable, poor and he brings almost none of himself to the part. Most of his rants are pretty typical of rants in almost every Kevin Smith movie and it's pretty obvious that these are some of the same, his inflection is even the same as so many other secondary characters in Clerks and it was actually a little distracting and it's also part of the reason I gave the movie six stars instead of seven or eight.
Another reason for the six-star rating is due to the fact that the movie suffers from a little predictability (not too bad though) and some dialogue in certain scenes that is too run-of-the-mill or typical. I also feel that certain parts of the movie are a bit too reminiscent of Clerks, which is not entirely a bad thing but it would have been nice to see Anderson break away from that and come up with something completely separate from his work with Smith.
All in all Anderson really put himself out there and we can see a lot of his personal story in Now You Know. This is a great first-time effort and I think we will see something even better with his next film Marry Me To Death. He stated that he wanted to make a movie that appealed to both men and women and this movie has crude humor and a somewhat Bachelor Party-esquire feel to it and also has a softer side with some romantic elements which will appeal to the ladies (not me so much because romance in movies makes me sick, haha). Anyway, he most certainly accomplishes this goal with Now You Know. I recommend checking this flick out, it is well worth the time.
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