The oft-used phrase "humor is relative" is never truer than it is in the multi-festival winning dramedy "Theresa Is a Mother," which Garden Thieves Pictures is releasing on DVD and VOD on September 29 2015. The titular parent is a hilariously failed "punkish" singer/songwriter who slowly drowns before hitting rock bottom.
The aforementioned wins include the Van Gogh Award at the Amsterdam Film Festival and the Best Feature Award at the Orlando Film Festival. The following YouTube clip of the "Theresa" trailer shows why.
The aforementioned desperation prompts Theresa to pack up her three daughters and move them into the childhood home that Theresa escaped more than a decade earlier. Her dread quickly turns to surprise on learning that her parents have become much more lively and progressive during her absence. In fact, they are far hipper than their morose offspring,
The focus then shifts to Theresa struggling to accept her new reality, to meet the requirement of her parents that she obtain a day job, and to keep her own children happy. Much of the humor relates to said job search and the concurrent search for at least fame, if not fortune. The feeling that the actress playing Theresa fully understands her character reflects that C. Fraser Press is the titular star, the writer, and the director. To her credit, Press does an excellent job with the distressed looks and multiple struggles of her character. She is equally believable as a painfully bad musician with more baggage than ten roadies could manage.
On the surface, this makes for a typical film about parents and a failed adult child learning to relate on the former returning home in disgrace. This one goes a bit deeper in making the story more than a tale of the aftermath of a failed marriage or the loss of prestigious employment. Theresa has never risen and must accept that life is not all laundromat and open-mike gigs.
Highlights include a tribute to Carmen Miranda, an illustration of the harsh reality of having young grandchildren living in the home, and Theresa negotiating for very menial work.
The proverbial scene stealer is teen actor Matthew Gumley as Bar Mitzah boy Seth Nerwitz. His extended song, which includes homages to "Luck Be a Lady Tonight" (rather than "Luke Be A Jedi Tonight") and many other show tunes, on his big day is must-see. The connection between this and Theresa becoming an "adult" nicely wraps up the film.
The overall visual style of "Theresa" is consistent with the aforementioned themes. It has the hand-held camera slightly grunge look of the '90s. The success regarding this shows that you can go home again when it comes to styles of film making,
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