Chasing Molly falls in the category of a talking comedy, where laughs are drawn primarily by what everyone says, i.e., the actors say something funny, and you laugh. Scenes are strung together to create a loose narrative, but ultimately we have a series of comic sketches laid end-to-end. The film’s success relies solely on how each scene makes you laugh. This is not a negative as the Marx Brother’s built an entire stage and film career on this practice.
“…Pack delivers a pretty strong performance from start to finish. Though she talks a lot, what she says is clever and induces real laughs at times.”
So, is Chasing Molly a good indie comedy? As stated previously, It’s better than most. Let’s start with the good. Shelley Pack both wrote the film and plays the lead Molly, and she delivers a pretty strong performance from start to finish. Though she talks a lot, what she says is clever and induces real laughs at times. She never resorts to rambling streams of consciousness leading to nowhere indicative of the improv-inspired films. Jim Cashman is also good as her lower-status sidekick and matches her comedic energy. The film also boasts nice cameos from WWE Hall-of-Famer Kurt Angle and The Guild’s Felicia Day and Jeff Lewis as Skullf$cker.
But like most comedies such as this, much of the film is built on humorous ideas as opposed to laugh-inducing jokes and gags. Examples of its good humor include a gang who supplies guns discussing their business as a multi-level marketing scheme, there’s also a funny exchange about blowjobs, and a pair of cops running through improv warm-ups before an upcoming audition—very silly indeed.
On the other side, the physical comedy came up short, like the silly encounter with a temple monk involving lame martial arts. Also, a lot of the film’s silliness just go on too long, like drug supplier Skullf$cker cussing someone out while babysitting a bunch of kids. For every scene that works, there are two or three that don’t. Unlike most indie comedies that never should have been made, Chasing Molly is just a few rewrites away from being a good film and earning a recommendation.
Chasing Molly (2019) Directed by Josh Sutherland. Written by Shelley Pack. Starring Shelley Pack, Jim Cashman, Kurt Angle, Felicia Day.
5.5 out of 10 stars