A Fun Comedy about a Morbid Truth
As I began watching Jamie Insalco’s “Will Reading”, I found myself groaning at the amateur aspects of the film. I thought that this had to be some kind of a joke and could not understand how anyone could have made something so bad and then proudly enlisted reviewers to see it. I was prepared to write to director Insalco and tell him that this was the worst movie I have ever seen and for those of you who follow my reviews know that there is nothing I dislike more than giving a negative review. Therefore I pushed everything aside and sat on what I thought for a while and then went back and watched it a second and third time. It is still very amateurish and the acting is nothing to write home about but the cast is really into what they do and suddenly I realized that I had read the movie totally wrong.
Our characters come together to read the will of Wendy’s (Katie Weigl) late husband. is hosting one nonetheless, after the recent death of her husband Will. Sadly, there’s no mention in the film as to whether or not his last name is Reading, but I like to think it is. Wendy is a vegan chef, so this is a dinner party as well as a will reading, but she isn’t exactly starting with a recipe for success. Will’s brother Wayne (Jamie Insalaco) is the first to arrive at Wendy’s where everyone will have a nice dinner before the reading. Wayne and Wendy have never gotten along and he immediately chides her for not having any wine to go with the meal and leaves to go and buy some.
Steve (Greg Vorob) arrives. He had once been Wendy’s high school crush and is now a lawyer. Tom (Marc Seidenstein) is a psychologist who seems to be doing ok but he has many bills because of this ill father. Finally there is Dave (Dan Conrad), a nerd who owns a comic book shop, except this is also struggling. So it’s no surprise and he is also dealing with finances. All of the characters think about the money that might be left to them in the will.
At the reading, our characters learn that the inheritances are located somewhere in the house. We learn that Will was afraid of the IRS and chose to hide his estate rather than having others pay taxes on it.
Now begins a treasure hunt— each person has an idea where to look but no one knows anything for sure. We watch the four of them begin to stress out, alliances are made and broken and as the craziness ensues, we cannot help but wonder how this will play out. I realize just how much I dislike all of the characters so I did not root for any of them. However, the actors are having such a good time making this movie which made me hope that at least one of them would be endearing.
There are some fun laughs and some of the humor is quite dark. The score has a lot of music and one old fashioned kind of duet that caused me to groan at first but that quickly changed to laughter. This is a small almost one-set film and I thought to myself that this is a throwback to the kind of romantic comedies that Hollywood used to make; almost a homage. But again in this I was wrong. There is really nothing old-fashioned about “Will Reading” except for a totally inappropriate song and dance number that kind of just happened with nothing really leading up to it. Perhaps I was too tense the first time I watched it and was not willing to let go of the kind of day I had had or, more likely, I was not in the mood for a movie like this. I thought I had been laughing at the movie instead of laughing with it.