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By Michael Ferraro | September 2, 2004

Noah Riemer’s “Most Wonderful People” opens up with a shot of a man jumping out of a moving car with two huge grocery bags in hand. Just as you think the film is taking a turn for the outrageous, you quickly learn the tone of this piece and how well that scene perfectly pays off later on in the film.

“Most Wonderful People” is a great ode to the silent film era. Reminiscent of Charlie Chaplin’s older short films, “People” tells the story of a man (played by Riemer) getting his house and dinner ready for a date with a “wonderful girl” and makes sure he gets some laughs doing so. For instance, while sweeping up his floor, he notices that there is just too much dirt to shove under his little welcoming rug. Instead of scooping up the soil to toss outside, he simply rids himself of the carpet and creates a welcome mat out of the heap of dirt.

This film is packed with simple gags like that, and almost all work flawlessly. Riemer’s performance and direction, with the assistance of quick editing, work perfectly with each other in creating a perfect tone to the piece, and making sure jokes don’t last too long or get tiresome. Richard Paro’s subtle camera work also does an excellent job in capturing every element with great detail and smooth movement. “Most Wonderful People” truly is a most wonderful film and a nice simple reminder that people can still create laughter out by using an otherwise extinct art form.

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