I’m all for eccentricity and absurdity and A Meteorite for the Mantlepiece delivers a bit of both. Unfortunately, the editing undermines the planned absurdity by making the film’s flow feel unfocused.
A Meteorite for the Mantlepiece mainly focuses on Nancy (Regina Samson), her son Nigel (Aaron Gartenberg) and the two astronauts (Kelly Terrell and Nancy Hornback) that have been living hidden in Nigel’s bedroom. Yup, you read that correctly. Two astronauts, hiding undiscovered in a kid’s room… which is nothing, really, because the film also busts out into musical numbers from time to time, and there are a few subplots involving Nancy’s ex-husband (Matthew McCurdy) and a friend who has never shaken his crush on her (John W. McKelvey).
Again, I dig absurdity, and astronauts practicing their space walks in a livingroom, conducting random science experiments and the occasional musical number didn’t bother me at all. The music is actually pretty spectacular in all the different genres they traverse in tune, but because the editing can be haphazard, it’s hard to follow, or remain interested, in the plot that exists to tie everything together. At times it feels like a bunch of little segments that supposedly connect, but don’t feel like they do. Conversations start and stop after cuts that seem to come out of nowhere and it is distracting. What’s more upsetting is that you can see that there’s more going on, this film has a lot of heart too, but it’s hard to truly engage.
A Meteorite for the Mantlepiece can get pretty silly, and I appreciate films that go all out for something, even if it can be nonsense at times, but I feel like this could’ve delivered much more than it ultimately did. To its credit, it’s unique and entertaining in its various parts, but just didn’t work for me as a whole as much as I hoped it would, or feel it could. There’s something here, but I think it could use a bit more massaging in the editing room.
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