Let’s Rap doesn’t reinvent slacker comedy, but it is a likeable film made with good will. It’s a solid feature debut from director Neil Huber and screenwriters Jesse and Samantha Herman.
I’m going out on a limb by guessing the repertoire between the film’s siblings was inspired by the screenwriters themselves. Melanie and Brendan (played by Republic of Doyle’s Rachel Wilson and Brendan Gall of TV’s Remedy) have a quick-witted relationship with each other where puns and burns come naturally. On a lark, childhood friend-turn-TV producer Ethan (played by Randal Edwards) suggests the couple pitch a project, which turns into the pair conceiving their own alternative spin on talk shows. A snowball effect begins with the jokesters as a saboteur threatens Ethan’s ideas and frittered away relationships become relevant again.
The talk show itself has been fluffed by aggressive banter that insists its funnier than it actually is along with over-directed reaction shots of nearby patrons in hysterics, but the chemistry between Wilson and Gall is wonderful. Their playful swiping at each other is appealing (though Gall’s quips come fast and furiously), and movie goers can easily believe that they’re related. Edwards also adds to the good-natured ribbing and gives enough conviction in his role to have the audience care about his need to create a successful television show. He completely redeems himself from this year’s turgid My Ex-Ex, a film made by people who could learn a thing or two about decency by watching this movie.
What makes Let’s Rap stand out is its approach to anxiety. Much of the film is about Melanie’s social disorder in front of crowds, and Rachel Wilson does a great job portraying the fear and panic those individuals sweat through. The film uses sarcasm and vomit visuals as a defence mechanism to dodge a deeper analysis, but the film’s skimming is enough to make a point that Let’s Rap is trying to address an issue instead of being “just another” comedy.
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Addison Wylie: @AddisonWylie