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By Doug Brunell | July 4, 2008

I will state this as bluntly as possible: The camera loves Rachel Sehl, and she can act. She drips with bitchy sexuality and makes it desirable, while her face screams innocence… or at least that’s her character here — a bubblegum pop star who is used to getting her way. When her homemade sex tape (a threesome with her female best friend and some random guy) is accidentally returned to her local video store, she uses everything from bullying to seduction to get it back from the a*****e video store clerk, Tom (David Cormican). Cormican’s character is never likable, and even when he gets the singer to admit some hard truths and own up to what she did, he does it in such a sleazy way that it won’t win him any points with the audience.

“Drop Box” didn’t sit well with me at first. I found the two main characters too brutal to enjoy, but after some contemplation I realized it works for the film. Not everybody is likable in real life, and far too often filmmakers will go out of their way to give asinine characters an unbelievable arc, so this movie gets points for being realistic. And anyone anxiously awaiting this to degenerate into a romantic comedy is going to be disappointed. Again, kudos to the filmmakers for not going the obvious route.

So what’s not to like in this film? Besides the initial displeasure with the characters, there’s the fact that this comedy just isn’t all that funny. Yes, it has moments of brilliance (anyone who deals in customer service will take delight in some of Tom’s customer interactions), but overall the jokes fall a little flat. You could make the argument that this also adds to the realism of the film, but Tom is written to be clever, so he could come up with some funnier material.

If you can find this movie somewhere and decide to take the chance on it, I suggest you let the movie soak into your brain for a half a day or so before passing judgment. What at first appears to be a fatal flaw actually ends up giving the film its strength. If this was done on purpose, then the folks behind this deserve some serious praise. If it was accomplished accidentally, then they need to thank whatever gods they believe in. Either way, it makes this movie worth watching.

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