“Fudgie and Jane” plays like a Farside comic strip that has come to life. It’s a romantic comedy that — and I think I’m safe in saying this — is the first to feature a guy in a whale suit trying to win the heart of a young woman. Fudgie (Jonathan Frappier) is the whale, and the object of his affection is Jane (Olivia Griego). Let’s make a love connection.
Saying that this is the typical romantic comedy would be misleading. It is fairly typical, but the twists make it a joy to watch. And unlike many of these genre pictures, this one is actually funny. Of course, Fudgie gets the best lines (any guy who wears a whale suit for most of a movie’s running time should get the choice lines), and it is his child-like view of the world that gives the film much of its charm. His relationship with Jane comes across as plausible, too, though it is a little strange. Just when you think you know what’s coming next, you get something totally unexpected.
“Fudgie and Jane” is full of offbeat humor and likable characters. It’s also the best picture of this sort I’ve seen this year, which raises the bar for any other romantic comedies that follow.