The kooky indie comedy “Andy Somebody” (Launch Releasing) feels like a labor of love.
Director and co-screenwriter Jesse David Ing co-wrote the screenplay with Jeremy M. Evans who happens to play the titular Andy. Additionally, Ing co-produced the movie actor with Leslie Wong, who plays Joy, another of the lead characters.
“Andy Somebody” also comes across like a comedic throwback to an earlier time – the 1970s or 1980s. Andy (Evans) is an unhappy man. The movie opens with him sitting in his car crying before he enters his office where he works as a bookkeeper for corrupt plastic surgeon Shifflett (Tasmanian actor Jonathon Buckley). We know of Shifflett’s wrong-doing because a pair of incompetent Chicago police detectives, Dave (Dave Forseth) and Pete (Pete Fluet), who are more interested in getting drunk and stoned, are on stakeout outside of his office.
Shifflett is a disgusting bully (is there any other kind?). Insulting to clients and staff. He saves most of his vitriol for Andy, relentlessly abusing him. When Andy fails to produce the paperwork Shifflett wants, he enlists gun-toting ex-CIA guy Gene (Jacob Bruce) to increase the pressure.
Meanwhile in Los Angeles, Andy’s childhood friend Joy (Wong) has her own problems. A writer whose short story collection was a success, Joy is experiencing writer’s block and has yet to complete the manuscript for her new novel (for which she received an advance). Her publisher is demanding that the book be finished in three weeks.
At least Andy has found a way to deal with his frustration. He transfers everything in Shifflett’s bank account into his personal account, and then cracks the combination on the safe and absconds with three million dollars in cash. He dons his Chicago Cubs cap, slips past a sleeping Gene, visits a handful of the city’s sights (including Wrigley Field, Buckingham Fountain, Cloud Gate, and Crown Fountain), and then boards a plane to L.A. where he shows up on Joy’s doorstep. She’s less than thrilled to see him, especially after he reveals what he’s done. Fearing for her own safety, Joy sends Andy away.
Gene contacts L.A.-based actor-turned-roofer Todd (Tim Parrish), who is indebted to Shifflett, and offers him the chance to clear his obligation by finding and capturing Andy. After breaking into Joy’s house while she’s away, Todd returns when she gets home, flashes his gun, and gets her to cooperate in his plan to find Andy.
Left to his own devices, Andy checks into a western-themed motel where he buddies up with desk clerk Mel (Carmen Morales), a wannabe screenwriter. She and Andy hit it off and she lets Andy borrow her pickup truck. Along with Andres (Franko Marcano), the motel’s janitor, Andy sets off on what will turn out to be the zaniest, and most dangerous, night of his life.
Overflowing with improbable situations, “Andy Somebody” deserves credit for providing us with plenty of opportunities to laugh out loud, even when we’re cringing. The cast of mostly unfamiliar actors do a decent job embodying their characters and it’s not the worst way to spend 80 or so minutes.
Gregg Shapiro is the author of eight books including the poetry chapbook Fear of Muses (Souvenir Spoon Books, 2022). An entertainment journalist, whose interviews and reviews run in a variety of regional LGBTQ+ and mainstream publications and websites, Shapiro lives in Fort Lauderdale with his husband Rick and their dog Coco.