WATCH THE TRAILER HERE
First, the Recap:
Isn’t it fun to come back home? You’ve been away for a spell, perhaps due to your job being in another state, and thanks to efforts you’ve put forth, having the opportunity to return to ones roots and hometown is a splendid event, especially when you get to debut the fruits of your labors. To boot, you even get to connect again with family and long lost loves! What could go wrong? It’s 1948, and top Hollywood screenwriter Laura Chandler (Diana Lenska) comes home to North Carolina to attend the premier of her newest film. Staying with her sister, Betty (Lynne Smith), Betty’s husband Andrew (Steve Kwiatkowski), and their children Danny (Landon Wall), Suzy (Breanna Ottinger), and Josey (Kristal Renwick), all seems well.
But, when it becomes evident that a figure from Laura’s past, millionaire James (Jeffry Winkler), is also going to be present during her stay, Laura is more than adamant that she wants nothing to do with him. Slowly revealing their history together, it is initially apparent she is in town for more than just the premier, scheming as to how to take some long-awaited revenge on James. Yet, as more players come onto the scene, including Laura’s film’s leading man, Jason Powell (Patrick Veihmeyer), and an old lawyer friend of James’, Judge Ryker (Bryan Lassiter), stories come out, secrets are revealed, scandals are started, and the truth seems to be the farthest thing from anyone’s minds as madcap hilarity and drama ensues.
Next, my Mind:
Writer/director/producer/lead actress Diana Lenska, who took on even more duties than that to bring this story to life, presents viewers with a quaint, old-fashioned, unconventional, and offbeat independent period dramedy that truly does provide a narrative-twisting 1-2-3 punch for its finale, and does successfully illustrate what can be done with $10,000, one boom mike, one camera, and actors dedicated to their art form. Now, just being honest, were there some rough points in both acting and film/sound editing–yes. Yet, this shouldn’t ultimately be the focus of ones enjoyment of an off-the-wall caper this effort is. Also, the gorgeous period vehicles and shooting locales are great (plus donated!), and the purposefully, mildly grainy texture of the picture invokes the films of old.
Lenska clearly had a fun time playing Chandler, whose character gets more than her fair share of time to be both endearing and charming, but then equally cunning, calculating, and deliciously full of guile. Likewise, Winkler’s James becomes the unwitting target of his former beau’s planned retribution, hilariously attempting to enact his own will on Laura while she often turns the tables on him and makes him suddenly fidgety and nervous. Wall, Ottinger, and Renwick each contribute their own levels of involvement in escalating the grander situation unfolding before them with delightful glee and age-appropriate frustrations with adults. Veihmeyer vamps it up as the dashing Powell, Carol Hawbaker yuks it up as James’ mother, Rochelle Aycoth as Laura’s best friend, and other supporters including Matt Mitchell, Brenda Moss-Clifton, and Joan Reilly all contribute well. It is ensemble insanity, no doubt!
Overall, “Holey Matrimony” is another indie feature where the faults can be accepted, at least to this reviewer, in view of the greater efforts it represents to even make the film to begin with. Filled with humor, drama, and a final act that IS worth watching for, it most certainly deserves a look! It appears multiple film festivals and awards already won would agree!
As always, this is all for your consideration and comment. Until next time, thank you for reading!