When the lovingly schlubby Todd is attacked by an alternate reality doppelgänger and sent to a tragic alternate universe, Todd must find a way to return to his reality. The concept is a familiar one, we’ve got parallel universe doubles and desperate attempts at changing fate, but most of the films dealing with these ideas have millions of dollars behind them. Without the glitz, the glamor, and the high production value The Wrong Todd still manages to outshine most of its big-budget colleagues with incredibly clever editing, a fantastic roster of actors, and a nearly perfect climax, the film truly becomes something original and memorable.
“Todd is attacked by an alternate reality doppelgänger and sent to a tragic alternate universe…”
The Wrong Todd does have some tonal issues, however. Writer and Director Robert Schulbaum produced a script that is a peculiar mix of comedy and drama that just didn’t completely work for me. I feel like there are some very funny ideas and moments that needed to be elaborated on, but instead, you get a bit whiplashed into a more dramatic scene, especially when it comes to one character in particular. In other moments there’s a really sad and reflective part of the film that gets sullied by an oft-timed joke. Maybe there’s an alternate reality where this film was more of a comedy, and another one where the film is a straight drama, but in this reality’s case, the script’s mixture of the two just feels off somehow. This doesn’t make for a bad movie, I quite enjoyed The Wrong Todd a great deal, and there’s so much in its 90 minutes plus runtime that makes it worth a watch.
” …there’s so much in its 90 minutes plus runtime that makes it worth a watch.”
The cast is superb, Jesse Rosen as Todd/The Other Todd does a great job with both roles. He plays Prime Universe Todd as a kind of goofy, aloof man who loves his girlfriend Lucy (played by Anna Rizzo), but doesn’t have the maturity to properly show it. His relationship with his best friend Dave (played by Sean Carmichael) seems to always get in the way. When The Other Todd arrives onto the scene, Rosen plays the part of a determined, more emotionally centered man intent on bettering himself for the woman he loves. It would have been really easy to make The Other Todd into an unsympathetic, cartoony villain, but the script really makes his actions justified and logical. When Todd Prime meets The Other Dave and his wife, Abby (played by Erin Rose), things darken up a bit. Sean Carmichael plays The Other Dave as somewhat emotionally detached and fed up with his universe’s Todd equivalent. His mirror universe mustache signifies a man who has lost someone very close to him, and he covers his pain by being a no-nonsense family man. I feel like The Other Dave is too far removed from his alternate universe self; I would have loved to have a few moments where his other personality kind of seeps through instead of the two being played as almost completely different characters. Anna Rizzo is great as Lucy, she’s really damned likable and I found her to be the strongest actor in the film. The character of Abby has little to do in the prime universe, but The Other Abby has some really delightful, and earnestly funny moments that made her a real highlight. Derek K. Moore plays the Technicians, the creators of the displacement trailer. I liked his manic and unhinged mannerisms, but I found the character’s motives to be a little muddled.
This is a marvelously acted low budget sci-fi indie film, and thanks to the wonderful cast the film really sparkles and shines. The story doesn’t do anything particularly groundbreaking, but the tools used to tell it really elevates the film to remarkable levels. I really wish there was more of a harmonious balance between the comedy and the drama, but the end result still earns a very high recommendation from me.