Everybody has a dream. Some of us dream of being actresses in Hollywood, while some of us want to be millionaires. The subject of Donlee Brussel’s mockumentary, “Cabbie,” has a very simple dream: he wants to be a cab driver. What seems like a very doable goal to some of us seems to be an almost insurmountable goal to Marty. Because of a hilarious mix up in high school, he never got his driver’s license. He’s almost ready to go take the test again, but, as he says, “it’s a lot of pressure.” According to Marty, the life of a cabbie is an exciting, difficult, sometimes harrowing adventure. He will have to keep up conversations while concentrating on his driving, and someday he may even have to deliver a baby, so before he even goes to get his driver’s license, Marty practices pantomiming deliveries.
“Cabbie” is a very funny character study. Marty relates everything he sees and does to taxis: landmarks, movies, views, presidential assassinations, all of them are intricately related to driving a cab. And while the film does follow a loose plot structure (the filmmakers follow Marty to the DMV on his first step in his cab driving career), it mostly focuses on the character and the silly, sometimes asinine, things he says.
Steve Gelder plays the role of Marty Yacovelli so well that it took me a while to realize that what I was watching wasn’t an actual documentary. Unlike many mockumentaries, which tend to overly exaggerate their characters, Marty is a sympathetic and moronic figure. Toeing the line of reality only heightens “Cabbie’s” comedic elements, leaving us open for a real laugh-out-loud ending.
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