The Austin Chronicle


Daily Reviews and Interviews

By Anne Harris, March 20, 2009, Screens


Narrative Feature, Emerging Visions
D: Brant Sersen; with Jason Rogel, Thomas Middleditch, Rachael Taylor, Lea Thompson, Christopher McDonald, Frankie Faison

From Sersen, who brought us the mockumentary Blackballed (2004 SXSW Film Audience Award), set in the world of competitive paintballing, comes a stab at scripted narrative with Splinterheads, a coming-of-age romantic comedy for the stoner nation. Sersen's script stays lean as we follow young Justin Frost (Middleditch) through his hometown mowing lawns for his best friend Wayne (Rogel). Played with Jon Heder-like appeal by newcomer Middleditch, Justin is soon robbed by a geocaching carny girl named Galaxy (Taylor), and it's love at first sight. Sticky summer nights when the carnival is in town have never been more palpable, so disbelief is suspended sufficiently when, with perfect timing, the film slips into mockumentary after a joint smoked with Amazing Steve (Jason Mantzoukas) and his lovely show pony wife, Wyoming (Lennon Parham). Smart performances by veteran supporters Thompson, McDonald, and Edmund Lyndeck add up to make this film worth your time.

Thursday, March 19, noon, Alamo South Lamar

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