Thursday, March 21, 2013
Bad Boy Bubby
Things start off in a seriously weird way, though. Bubby is 35 years old. He's never left the apartment he lives in with his mother. It's stark and industrial looking - no TV, no radio, just a weathered crucifix on the wall and a gas mask hanging on a peg by the front door. The gas mask is for his mom to wear when she goes outside. To hear him talk, it's clear he doesn't know a whole lot, but one thing he's learned well from his mother is that if the poison (outside) doesn't kill you, then God will. His mother grooms him, feeds him, browbeats him into sitting at a table for hours while she's away from home, and has sex with him. At least until his wayward father comes home one day. Shortly thereafter, Bubby finds himself out in a world that he couldn't understand less.
This film is what something like Forrest Gump would have been if it were intellectually honest. While Bubby has a way of winning people over, even though by all appearances he's stone-cold bananas, he does have to figure out the hard way that he can't grope strangers' bosoms or cuss out the cops. He makes his way through Adelaide, Australia in erratic fashion, eventually joining forces with a cruddy bar band and changing them into a bona fide performance art rock n roll sensation and meeting his perfect love match. As all Bubby knows of language is to mimic what's been said or shouted to him in the past, this makes for some very funny moments. While this is certainly more arthouse style than many of the other movies I've watched lately, with a runtime to match, it never got grating or boring. It made the point it set out to make and did it deftly.
Bad Boy Bubby benefits from an amazing performance by Nicholas Hope as the titular character. He takes a pretty ridiculous premise and makes it at least somewhat believable. And yes, there's enough filth and disturbing imagery and actions in this to make it qualify for this writing experiment in spades. It says a lot that even with the insane, creepy and sacrilegious aspects being in abundance, by the end of the movie I felt better about humanity than I did at the beginning. Definitely worth checking out.