There’s something to be said for someone who makes due with the supplies they have at hand to follow their dreams, there really is. The fact that Aaron Mento had an idea, put that idea to paper and then filmed it using what he had readily available, in this case an Ipad, is admirable and inspiring. That kind of initiative is really respectable and in a genre filled with remakes and reboots someone bringing a fresh concept to the table is always a welcome sight, no matter how it was shot or how much it cost to make.
Standards of Living is about a un-funny comedian who calls himself Peter the Soothsayer, assumedly because all the good names were taken? Oh, and because of the magic silver peanut he talks to, right. Anyways, Peter has nothing to loose and gets offered a chance through some pretty strange means to potentially improve his comedy skills and actually be funny instead of, you know,just being a shitty comedian who wears clown makeup AND has a beard. I didn’t mention the beard yet did I? I actually didn’t think clown makeup could get much grosser but here I sit, proven wrong yet again. Slap a beard on on it and they enter a whole new (quite possibly unintentional) level of terror. The actor chosen for the role of Peter is effective as a terrible comedian because quite honestly, every time he opened his mouth it made me cringe and want to forcefully close it.With that in mind, in the terms of making me tense and anxious Standards of Living definitely succeeds.
The movie itself clocks in at an hour and half which in my opinion is about 20 minutes too long. I think it could have benefited from leaving some of the less necessary scenes on the cutting room floor though. Also, introducing a new character to a minimal cast production an hour in just got a little confusing for me, but that could just be an issue on my part. I want to say that I am a fan of all things strange and zany though, and I think that parallel mirror universes fits snugly in that category, so I have to give props for that .
I will say that this film is obviously the work of a director still trying to find his feet but someone who shows such ingenuity and drive is likely to attract the right kind attention from the community and I’d like to see what could be done were he given some better tools, professional actors and a budget. Click the link below and check it out Standards of Living for yourself.
PS – that clown with a beard thing is going to haunt me for a while. Thanks for that