Wirey Spindell

To qualify for an Oscar nomination, a film must play for at least a week in Los Angeles before the end of the year. So every year around December, small films no one ever hears of play in LA and New York, to try to garner critical acclaim for possible nominations. Then comes the month of January, when everything else the studios wish to forget about is dumped onto an unsuspecting public. Wirey Spindell, the latest film from independent filmmaker Eric Schaeffer (If Lucy Fell, Fall), falls squarely into the latter category. Wirey was Schaeffer's first screenplay, but only after some success was he able to turn it into a film. Moviegoers would be better off if he left it as a script.

Wirey (Schaeffer) is about to get married to Tabatha (Callie Stevens, Next Stop Wonderland), and has a huge case of premarital jitters. Not only that, but every time he is involved in a serious relationship, he loses any sexual desire he once had for his girlfriend. So Wirey and Tabatha are at a crossroad. Counseling is not successful, and Tabatha wants to call off the wedding. The film then flashes back to Wirey at various ages, essentially giving a mini-biography of Wirey and a possible explanation for his commitment problems. It turns out Wirey is one messed up guy. He had problems as a young boy (played by Zane Adlum), a junior higher (Devon Matthews), and many many problems in college (Eric Mabius, Splendor, The Minus Man). In college, Wirey encountered a similar sexual problem with the woman he believed was the love of his life, Samantha (Samantha Buck, 24 Hour Woman). His relationship with Samantha is completely unbelievable; he is a jerk to her for years, and then they fall madly in love. Mabius is by far the most interesting Wirey. He undergoes a profound change in lifestyle in his college years, and actually seems to learn from his mistakes.

The main problem with the film is that Wirey is such a jerk, that it would probably would be better for Tabatha if they never got married. He is juvenile, self-centered, and still reeling from many of the problems of his childhood. It is hard to imagine how Wirey and Tabatha ended up engaged, especially when their fights demonstrate a lack of a true relationship. Schaeffer's script gives no reason to feel sympathy for Wirey at any age, he just comes off as annoying. As a child, Wirey first took advantage of children, only to grow older and become taken advantage of by other children. By the end of the movie, no one cares what happens to Wirey and Tabatha, just that the movie will end. To get into Wirey's mind, Schaeffer lets the different Wireys tell their thoughts to the viewer. But he never changes the narration to deal with age. Thus, Adlum, as a seven year old Wirey, reads to the audience the words of a much older man. Even worse, Schaeffer tries to inject humor into the story. Wirey makes comments that are supposed to come off as witty, but fall flat each and every time. Wirey Spindell is in limited release, and thankfully, chances are slim it will ever expand.

Mongoose Rates It: Really Bad.
1 hour, 41 minutes, Unrated, but contains language, drug use, sexuality, and adult themes.

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