Directed by Domenic Migliore
Written by Domenic Migliore
Starring Michael Bugard, Anita Nicole Brown, Kaylee Williams
Routines is really about when your tiny, Kafkaesque corner of the world begins to implode, especially when you’re an artist on the verge of a mid-life crisis. Domenic Migliore’s first full feature totes the line between overly offensive stand-up comedy and punk rock nihilsm to deliver a divisive debut that shows what can happen when bad jokes lead to a great love story – only to end in total destruction. This incredibly dark comedy taps into the cynic in all of us; and it’s just the kind of irreverent, coke-fueled, anti-intellectual dark comedy we need right now.
Nearing middle age and becoming more resentful (and as a result, more hilarious) every day, comedian Bruce Mann (Bugard) just wants to light up the world a little before he sets it on fire. Dying in stereo, he performs occasionally at the Yuk Yuk Hut with the sole desire to offend as many people as possible. Sadly, there are a lot of empty seats and forgettable faces, until a punk rock singer named Darling Wednesday (Brown) waltzes in and matches his intensity emanating from the makeshift stage.
They rent movies from the local VHS store, have weird but intense sex, and seem perfectly happy together…until Bruce decides to destroy it all. With no disrespect to any of the other performers, this really is Michael Bugard’s movie. His derisive performance as Bruce Mann is a new symbol for the joyfully disenfranchised youth of America.
With the same kind of irreverence as legendary comedian Bill Hicks and the unpredictability of Hunter S. Thompson, the character of Bruce Mann taps into the parts of our psyche we try to quiet down most of the time. You know, the part of you that just feels like going on a harmless little killing spree every once in awhile.
We watch dark, murderous comedies like this and some of the more outlandish horror fare to help quell that desire. These kinds of movies turn our discontent into art, whether it’s low-brow or not. Routines is a down and dirty deluge of self-loathing and desperation at times, but you’ll probably feel a little better after watching it. With the indie ire of John Waters, director Domenic Migliore and breakout Michael Bugard have made a film that takes comfort in berating the masses and rolling its eyes at the world.
Just the kind of irreverent, coke-fueled, anti-intellectual dark comedy we need right now.