The best part of a relationship is being with your soulmate for all eternity. The worst part of said relationship is being with THAT soulmate for all eternity. Jeffrey Scott Collins examines relationships and love addiction in his feature comedy, Poor Greg Drowning.
As the title implies, poor Greg (Graham Sibley) is drowning in the wake of his traumatic breakup with Ashley (Christine Woods), who had an affair with their couple’s therapist, then opened up his chest and took a big dump on his heart. No, Greg is not bitter at all. To compound Greg’s trouble, he’s desperate to find a new roommate to share the expenses since Ashley moved out.
Greg finds himself in such a profoundly fragile emotional state that he’s screaming at himself and becoming overly emotional at the smallest sign of romance. He’s obsessive about reminding everyone around him about his betrayal, and overall just wound up way too tight. When he’s left alone, Greg finds himself wallowing in his self-loathing thoughts and withdrawing into the emasculated man that he is.
Surrounding Greg is an odd support system comprised of his best friend Paul (Jeremy Luke), a new therapist (Ajay Mehta), and his sister Julie (Sarah Baldwin). Each one tells him to look for a male roommate, but Greg decides against it when Peyton (Marguerite Insolia) comes knocking at the door. Greg’s self-destructive cycle has now been relaunched, yielding some surprising results. Is Peyton a little too perfect for Greg? Is Greg moving a little too fast for his sanity? Is she too good to be true?
“…he’s screaming at himself and becoming overly emotional at the smallest sign of romance.”
Poor Greg Drowning takes a very light comedic look at love addiction from a male perspective. Graham Sibley astutely juggles Greg somewhere between a sympathetic sad sack to a desperate martyr for love. He plays it as a love “addict” who is suddenly forced to go cold turkey. He can find no “fix” for his addiction, and quite frankly, no one will sell it to him. Greg is all over the place emotionally, and Sibley keeps the over-the-top possibilities within the boundaries of believability.
Greg’s friendship with Paul stands out as Jeremy Luke plays it wonderfully with a thick New York accent and mobster attitude. He offers some of the best advice to Greg and delivers it with the right balance of thoughtfulness and intimidation. Then there’s Peyton, Greg’s supposed soul mate. I like how Sibley and Insolia “spar” together in a will-they/won’t-they manner. Though slightly disappointed by their final fate (I loved their on-screen chemistry), it had to be as it is integral to the story’s overall point.
I should also mention Poor Greg Drowning has some pretty cool stick-figure animation, and Cedric the Entertainer is there with some always smooth narration throughout the film.
Much of the movie submits Greg to one awkward situation after the other. The laughs come by, making him a fool. Overall the film is a series of gags and sketches of our hero’s attempt to navigate life, both personal and professional. While not every joke is a winner, thankfully, there are more successful ones than not. Poor Greg Drowning is an excellent movie to fire up on a lazy afternoon.
"…keeps the over-the-top possibilities within the boundaries of believability."