Gary From Accounting (2016): I Is for Intervention (Review)

Timothy J. Cox and Mark Grenier

As a last ditch effort to help Nathan stop drinking, his sister and wife stage an intervention session. They call in Gary to help make their point. Unfortunately Nathan’s wife Hannah sends her email to the wrong Gary; not his best friend but the one from accounting at his firm.

Written by Phoebe Torres and directed by Daniel Lofaso (his first time directing) this short short-film, something that feels like a flash-fiction film, is a comedy in one very short act.  It stars Timothy J. Cox as Nathan and  Mark Grenier as Gary.

The film starts with Gary arriving and finding the house empty. He sits down, removes his shoes and begins reading a magazine. Nathan’s wife Hannah (Thea McCartan) and sister Belle (Jake Lipman) enter the room and realize that Hannah emailed the wrong Gary.

Just as he starts to leave a drunken Nathan returns home and the intervention begins.

Gary from Accounting almost feels like an improvisational effort. Which makes the comedy in this short piece work very well.  As the awkward intervention continues, Nathan’s family, including his children relate what his drinking problem does to them personally.

Gary, who should not be there at all, mentions an occasional late report that makes him late for a television program. Amusingly it is this bit of information that gets through to Nathan.

Part of the comedy really arises out of both the women in Nathan’s life reacting to the interaction between Gary and Nathan.  Trying to make the most of a bad situation and taking cues from the man from accounting, the women carry on regardless.

Cox makes a very believable inebriate and Grenier could be the template for any accountant in any company. A man who might share a drink or two at work and then get upset at missing parts of his favorite television series.

The rest of the humor is derived from Nathan’s refusal to even acknowledge his family’s concerns and complaints. He does however, react to the man he had a couple of drinks with.

Grenier’s delivery as the accountant is spot on. He manages to be just the right amount of uneasy with his part in this session yet can rise to the occasion when needed. Cox follows his lead and becomes just as emotional over the bit of telly that Gary has missed.

Overall, the camera work is on form but at one point the shadow of the camera and its operator intrudes upon the scene. As Nathan steers Gary back to the couch the shadow falls across the former’s shoulders.

That is, however, the only issue with the film.  The sound is clear and the lack of a soundtrack  allows the audience to feel very much like a “fly-on-the-wall.”

A quick word of praise for the the child actors in the film. Both Christopher John and Rhea Kottakis come across as very real. The boy’s trembling tone and Rhea’s eyes speak volumes and bring much to the proceedings.

Gary from Accounting could be seen as a comedy of errors, or even a parody of the intervention  process. It is, regardless of whichever category one places it in, funny.

This is Phoebe Torres’ first script and it shows a lot of promise. It would be nice to see what else she produces. Something a tad longer perhaps but, in all honesty, this type of comedy and its length could be used as a template for, say, Marty and Mara

Gary from Accounting is a 3.5 star effort had the camera not been so intrusive (at one point there is a split second shot of what appears to be a bit of lighting equipment as well) this would have scored full marks.

Author: Mike's Film Talk

Former Actor, Former Writer, Former Journalist, USAF Veteran, Former Member Nevada Film Critics Society

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"I hold it, that a little rebellion, now and then, is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical."

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