Writer/director Christopher Folino must have a good knowledge of role-playing games because his mockumentary, “Gamers,” hits the nail right on the proverbial head. It’s a look at a group of friends out to break a record for the longest running role-playing campaign. How long? Twenty-three years. If you know any gamers, that’s not exactly inconceivable.
The game they play is Demons, Nymphs and Dragons (DND — say it, and if you’ve played role-playing games you’ll know exactly what it means). As to be expected, this group of friends is pretty warped, especially the violent, angry Reese (Dave Hanson), whose female characters always end up dead. The soul of the group is Gordon (Kevin Kirkpatrick), who, on the day they are set to break the record, finds out his parents (John Heard and Beverly D’Angelo) are bisexual swingers. As if that wasn’t bad enough, he’s also attacked by an angry dwarf. These crushing blows lead him to realize that he and his friends need a change before the game ruins an even greater portion of their lives.
While at times a little over the top, Folino and his actors have these characters down pat, as is witnessed by the little retirement party the gamers give to Gordon’s elf. I’ve played role-playing games, so I know how people get, and they’ve captured that beautifully. What’s more, Folino did it with love. These people aren’t total misfits. They just let one thing take control of their lives to the point where they fail to see anything else. It could happen with anything — yard sailing, Beanie Babies, drugs. It just so happens that gamers produce a lot of grist for the comedy mill. (You can only laugh at junkies for so long before you feel kind of bad about it. Well, that’s the case for most people at least. I can go for quite a while busting a gut at their foibles.)
If you like mockumentaries or have ever played Dungeons and Dragons, this is a film you have to see. If you still play Dungeons and Dragons, and are over thirty, there may be a few uncomfortable moments as you recognize aspects of yourself in these people. If you can’t laugh at them, though, perhaps you’ve been taking the game too seriously and should make a change before you come home and find your parents having sex with your friends. It could happen … and probably will.