Drugstore June

Happy Madison apologists who have gone up to bat for Grandma’s Boy can rejoice – director Nicholaus Goossen has returned with a new cult flick in the making.

Slacker comedy Drugstore June follows the misadventures of pharmacy tech June (stand-up comic Esther Povitsky, also known as “Little Esther”) as she navigates her way through post-breakup obsessions, online popularity, and petty crime.  June has an infamous reputation around town for being obnoxious, although she’s unaware of that label.  Even if June knew of the collective distain towards her, she probably wouldn’t care.  She thrives on her social media following, a group she’s coined as “June Squad”.  Drugstore June, wisely and hilariously, never suggests how many people are in the “June Squad”;  giving key scenes, such as when June is live-streaming to an allegedly needy crowd, an extra essence of bubbly delusion. 

Anyone who spends more than two minutes with June can spot the embellishments though, except her unwavering mother (Beverly D’Angelo) who is real keen on June’s confidence.  Povitsky and D’Angelo play off of each other really well, making their scenes stand out the most.  However, it becomes clear quite quickly that Povitsky’s immature character (which she’s developed with Goossen within their co-written script) is at her best when she’s sharing the screen with someone else; notably men who are psychologically crippled by her pestering like her patient boss (Bobby Lee), her tormented ex-boyfriend (Haley Joel Osment), a smug barfly (Matt Walsh), or her seething doctor (executive producer Bill Burr).

Povitsky’s performance is the glue that holds her haphazard vehicle together, and she does a decent job carrying the movie despite June’s two-dimensional qualities.  Reminiscent of Pee-wee Herman’s goofy charm and Wayne Campbell’s fanatic ex in Wayne’s World, June’s humour is a guilty pleasure.

Drugstore June is a collection of bits rather than a cohesive narrative, and the segments never rise above being mildly amusing aside from a few laugh-out-loud deliveries by Povitsky.  But, to give credit where credit is due, this gives Drugstore June a level of consistency that helps it stay afloat.  Even when June is given the self-appointed role as detective when her pharmacy is broken into, the tangent is an unlikely deviation that pads out thin material, but it’s hard to complain when the laughs keep on a-coming.


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Addison Wylie: @AddisonWylie

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