Tuesday, August 06, 2019

Fantasia 2019: Extra Ordinary

Is there a good way to say "Extra Ordinary is Extraordinary!" without being a total cheeseball sell-out but still managing to get that onto the movie's poster? Because Extra Ordinary is extraordinary and I want the whole wide world to know it. What a exquisite surprise this small-town Irish horror-comedy about ghost hunters and floating goats turned out to be. Here's another one for the poster: I haven't laughed this hard in ages. I'm laughing right now thinking about how hard I laughed! Ha ha! Ha ha!

We meet Rose Dooley (should be comedy super-star in the making Maeve Higgins, with enough perfect timing for ten Maeve Higginses with a little left over) teaching sad sacks half-heartedly how to drive down the uncrowded avenues of their rural village. Rose is bemused and exasperated, seeing as how she's spending most of her time and energy burying her true gifts of supernatural spirit whispering from coming out and killing again, like they did her pa on one fateful afternoon.

And then two forces enter Rose's life around the same time -- there's sweet-cheeked Martin Martin (Barry Ward) come sniffing around for an exorcism of his poltergeist wife who won't stop bashing his face in, and there's the one hit wonder and full-time Satanist Christian Winter (Will Forte), who needs some virgin blood so he can finally become the two-hit wonder he was always meant to be.

If this all sounds goofy, good; if this all sounds like the Ghostbusters version of one of those 1990s Full Monty type "small communities of wacky folks rise up" comedies, better still. That's totally the gist, and I loved every good-natured and goofy minute of it. Extra Ordinary never has an ounce of trouble finding new ways to make it's new world feel lived in and whole in the most playful ways imaginable -- it delights in introducing the parameters of its story and then immediately squishing them up for laughs. And every actor (but especially Higgins) is having a grand time (but especially Higgins) -- I wanted nothing more than to immediately spend another 90 minutes with these people the moment the movie was done. Most especially Higgins. She's extra-ordinary-ier!

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