- Director: Craig Thieman
- Cast: Wil Daniels, Sara Tomko, Nate Panning, Julia Lehman, Sid Haig, Corey Feldman, Christian Rozakis, Simon Crist
- Running Time: 1:34
- Release Date: 5/6/22
Suicide for Beginners Trailer
A Brief Info About Suicide for Beginners Movie
Suicide for Beginners is certainly nasty, yet the description may convey the wrong idea. After all, this film is about a man who tries to stage the murder of a lady with whom he is fascinated as a suicide, and co-screenwriters Craig Thieman, who also directed, and Ethan Hunter play it out as a comedy of errors. It’s intrinsically offensive, which is the objective, but the approach to this material is so muddled that its ugliness is near the bottom of the film’s problems.
Perhaps at the top of that list is the issue of the story’s perspective. Garrett (Wil Daniels) has bound and gagged Mia (Sara Tomko) in the basement of her rented home, ostensibly because she began dating his roommate. There’s a little more to his rationale, however, it’s a distinction without much meaning. The guy wants to be Mia, and because she isn’t interested in him, she is entirely disposable in his eyes.
Leaving aside the inherent and blatant misogyny, the filmmakers agree that Garrett is a creep, a sexist (as well as a misanthrope), and a bad person in general. That continuously makes one question Thieman and Hunter’s thoughts as he tells their story from his point of view.
Garrett’s failure at killing Mia leads to him abducting and/or murdering many other individuals, which is intended to be humorous. Other possible victims include pizza delivery man Rick (Nate Panning), who fears Garrett is suicidal, and his girlfriend Abigail (Julia Lehman), who wants to assist the “poor” stranger. The late Sid Haig is hilarious in his final performance as Mia’s landlord with an unclear accent who also ends up in the basement, but the humor ends there.
Where is the humor in this scenario? It’s not in deconstructing or satirizing Garrett’s willingness to consider himself as both the hero and the sufferer in this situation. Again, the filmmakers know he’s the villain here, as he breaks into Mia’s bedroom to leave her flowers and sniff her underwear, before ending up under the bed while she and her boyfriend/roommate Garrett Ben (Christian Rozakis) have sex.
The discomfort of that result is the punch line, but the setup to that humor only works if we can sympathize with or understand Garrett’s mute humiliation. The gag doesn’t work because he’s the one in the wrong (there’s something to the fact that the filmmakers had to add the panty-sniffing as if the initial invasion into the bedroom wasn’t enough of a marker of his creepiness), either on its own or as a twist on the notion of our inherent connection to a sad-sack guy like Garrett.
The rest of the story, of course, has the same difficult context and, as a result, the same ineffectual strategy. Garrett must find a solution to handle his several counts of kidnapping without killing anyone who isn’t the woman who doesn’t have affection for him as additional individuals come up tied up and gagged in the basement. The abductees and abductors banter and argue with an unrealistic degree of self-awareness, with the exception of Mia, who is about as much an object in the film as she is in Garrett’s thoughts.
As the arguing continues and memories progressively expose the true reason Garrett wants Mia dead, Thieman and Hunter appear to be locked in a pattern of repeating (to cover up another crime, which only happened because of his sense of entitlement toward her). Perhaps they are stalling because they have written themselves into this unavoidable scenario. A random string of brutal murders in broad daylight on a conveniently busy-but-not-too-busy suburban street is the bloody chaos we expect from the setup, a random and insignificant occurrence within the plot, and fairly clear proof that the filmmakers don’t know what to do with the situation in the basement.
Yes, Suicide for Beginners is upsetting on several levels. While this may give the sense that this is some grim and macabre humor, the film’s main flaw is that its chaotic approach results in something that is too ambiguous to be insulting.