THE MARC PEASE EXPERIENCE

BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELL
OCTOBER 19, 2010

In this underrated piece about a wimpy high school student that chokes during a performance of The Wiz and then grows to become an eccentric a-cappella singer, Jason Schwartzman takes the reigns beautifully and as only he can as Marc Pease. Dating present high school student Meg Brickman (Anna Kendrick), Marc attempts to get his former drama teacher, Mr. Gribble (Ben Stiller), on board with a pending demo tape funded by the selling of his childhood home. Mr. Gribble wants nothing to do with Marc, and when Marc discovers a cassette tape of Mr. Gribble advancing on Meg, Marc is left to choose his future carefully.

Jason Schwartzman delivers a stand-out performance, steadily carrying his oddball humor throughout the film. Matching Schwartzman with Stiller strikes as unbelievable, and a moment of “why didn’t anyone think of this sooner” emanates. The Wiz was never more entertaining, with Schwartzman finally getting his time to shine during Mr. Gribble’s production eight years after the stage fright incident.

“The Marc Pease Experience” is a typical underdog story with the atypical Schwartzman at the helm, producing a unique adventure into the life of what appear to be ordinary people. Without Stiller, Marc Pease would genuinely feel like the low-budget film it is, but with the star power Marc Pease comes off more like the film “Election,” with Matthew Broderick and Reese Witherspoon. “The Marc Pease Experience” remains a solid little comedic production regardless of what draws you to the film.

RELEASE DATE
August 21, 2009

DIRECTOR
Todd Louiso

WRITTEN BY
Todd Louiso
Jacob Koskoff

STUDIO
Paramount Vantage

PG-13
(for brief sexual material)

COMEDY
DRAMA
MUSIC
84 minutes

CINEMATOGRAPHER
Tim Suhrstedt

COMPOSER
Christophe Beck

EDITOR
Julie Monroe

CAST
Jason Schwartzman
Ben Stiller
Anna Kendrick
Ebon Moss-Bachrach
Jay Paulson
Gabrielle Dennis

PRODUCED BY
Michael London
Bruna Papandrea
David Rubin

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