Brigsby Bear (2017) – Film Review
Kyle Mooney co-wrote and stars in this odd film as James, a grown man who has led an extremely sheltered life which revolves around a unique science fiction television show – Brigsby Bear – with very cheap looking production values which he has religiously watched ever since he was a child.
When the show ends abruptly he takes it upon himself to try and finish the show with the help of newfound friends despite reservations from his family and a therapist played by Claire Danes.
There follows plenty of well meaning and amusing moments of amateur film-making as James’ enthusiastic story telling in his amateur production for a Youtube audience rub off on his fellow young film makers, a kindly cop (played by Greg Kinnear), and eventually his family.
And eventually, in making the film, James comes to terms with the impact the Brigsby Bear has had on his life.
It’s difficult to describe the film without touching on some major spoilers about the plot but sci-fi genre fans may appreciate the story more than cynics who might be quick to have a go what could be seen as unrealistic plot developments.
If you can go along with the premise, though, there’s plenty of warmth in the compact 97 minute running time and some smiles to be had with the added bonus of Star Wars legend Mark Hamill demonstrating some of his voice acting talents during the last few scenes.
If you’ve seen Be Kind Rewind or Me and Earl and the Dying Girl you will get an idea of the sort of film-within-a-film premise going on but Dave McCary’s story is a little more down to earth with some of the themes going on.
Brigsby Bear certainly doesn’t outstay its welcome but you’ll need to catch it on an easy going day to get the best out of it.
Brigsby Bear (15; scene of drug misuse, moderate sex references; 97 minutes)
Director(s): Dave McCary
Cast Includes: Kyle Mooney, Mark Hamill, Jane Adams, Greg Kinnear, Matt Walsh, Michaela Watkins, Ryan Simpkins, Claire Danes, Andy Samberg
Summary: BRIGSBY BEAR is a US comedy drama in which an isolated man sets out to finish a children’s TV show after it suddenly comes to an end.
Rating: *** (A heartwarming comedic story about finding closure after the end of a major life chapter)