Mr. Movie

'My Sweet Misery' provides indie fun

My Sweet Misery is an independent film that is opening this week in just 16 cities.

-- Times, theaters.

Carmike’s Kennewick theater is one of them. It kicks off Carmike’s annual independent film series and is done by first-time writer/director and editor Matthew William Jordan.

More first-timers should be this good.

Jordan’s cast, with the exception of Anna Chlumsky, is largely unknown. Chlumsky, as film fans will remember, did the 1990s kid flick My Girl and also got raves for her work in this year’s highly praised but little seen comedy In the Loop. Though they’ll never win Oscars or other movie awards, Jordan’s no-name cast has chemistry and they have a blast with his quite original take on relationship angst.

Zach Hanks’ Sam checks into a motel to commit suicide. His rambling, self-pity soaked note as to why is written on a roll of toilet paper. Rescued by his near-psychopathic brother, Sam works his way toward personal redemption with help from an imaginary psychiatrist, the brother, friends that live at a “Cheers”-like bar and the motel’s maid who responds to his whining with her own message — on the same toilet paper roll.

My Sweet Misery gives Carmike’s series a nice jump start. It takes the boredom of the well-worn premise of marriage break-up to brand new places. Jordan’s film puts a unique spin on dialogue, highlights the story with some inventive cinematography and one outrageous twist after another.

Jordan is a talented writer and director who proves that you don’t need big stars and a multi-million dollar payroll to make a great movie. His film is the best of this week’s openings.

And you can’t beat that Carmike only charges $5 to see each movie in the independent series.

Outside of Star Trek and Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds, it will likely be the most fun you’ll have in a theater all year.

Mr. Movie rating: 4 1/2 stars

Rated R for mature themes and language. It opens Friday, Oct. 16 at Camike Cinemas.

5 stars to 4 1/2 stars: Must see on the big screen

4 stars to 3 1/2 stars: Good film, see it if it's your type of movie.

3 stars to 2 1/2 stars: Wait until it comes out on video.

2 stars to 1 star: Don't bother.

0 stars: Speaks for itself.