Brian Posehn, Paget Brewster, Missi Pyle, Beau Ballinger
…an incredibly dark comedy that’s fuelled on nihilism…
Summer is nearly here, so it must be time for Christmas movies. The first out of the gate is Uncle Nick, a bleak look at the festive season directed by Attack Of The Show head writer, Chris Kasick, and starring, amongst others, Brian Posehn, Paget Brewster, and Missi Pyle. Posehn plays the titular Uncle Nick, a self-confessed schmuck of a man who lives hand to mouth whilst he runs his late father’s business into the ground. Invited to celebrate Christmas at the palatial home of his younger brother, Cody (Beau Ballinger), Nick spies an opportunity to drink the night away and, hopefully, sleep with his brother’s step-daughter.
Uncle Nick is an incredibly dark comedy that’s fuelled on nihilism, in the same way that Nick is fuelled on booze. Posehn staggers and slurs his way around Cody’s home, making the night thoroughly difficult for Sophie (Paget Brewster), Cody’s wife, who resembles the upper class lady of the house that The Three Stooges would terrorise. When Nick isn’t trying to send pictures of his genitals to his step-niece, the film attempts to elicit a small amount of sympathy for the man with the reveal of a deceased girlfriend. Whilst Nick seems to use his tale of woe as a means to attain sympathy and sexual favours, the film hints at a man refusing to acknowledge that he genuinely is in mourning.
So bleak is the film, however, that this small amount of subtlety is drowned out in favour of more jokes about vomit, baseball, and borderline incest. There is a truth to be found though buried underneath its excessive coarseness; that of the forced politeness and yuletide joy that we sometimes put ourselves through simply because it’s Christmas. Nick’s brash behaviour could be seen as leading the charge towards more honesty in the season and in ourselves, but ultimately it’s a film about a man trying to get his rocks off.