Independent Film Festival Boston Review: 'Harmony and Me'
Like a real life break-up, the film “Harmony and Me” is equally downtrodden in all aspects of the word. The offbeat comedy focuses on a self-deprecating character surrounded by friends that do not seem any better off than our protagonist. Our lead character’s attitude can be summed up in a statement he makes fairly early on in the movie, “The events that make up my life are meant for low stakes dramatization.”
After his girlfriend dumps him, the socially awkward Harmony (Justin Rice) spends his time whining about his ex to just about anyone who will listen. It seems like he is hoping for his friends and family to provide him with magical answers about the mysteries of love, however the problem with that is that none of them have a clue themselves.
Don’t be mistaken though, just because the film’s characters are self-deprecating, this does not mean that the story is entirely depressing. There are actually quite a few laughs to be found. A lot of this humor comes from the bizarre interactions Harmony has with his emotionally insensitive friends and family.
In fact there is really no subject this story takes too seriously; death, love, work, or marriage. The film holds none of these things sacred and it does not allow any of them protection against sarcastic jabs. Brutal honesty is what makes this movie so amusing.
Probably the most fascinating aspect of the film and quite likely the most intended is the connection between a character whose name is Harmony and music. Harmony’s only solace throughout his heartbreak in the film seems to be in his music. When he is making music it seems like he is truly in tune with himself, emotionally distant from his pain. Even though the music is nothing special, it’s definitely relaxing to listen to and lightens the mood of the movie.
This film’s real downfall however is that it’s too disjointed. It comes together like a series of vignettes instead of a coherent narrative with a plan. Jump cuts and fades to black after scenes really add to difficulty connecting the pieces. As a result its pacing drags along despite being a scant 75 minutes.
Character actor Kevin Corrigan’s appearance as one of Harmony’s loser friends is a nice surprise, since he is often overlooked for the dark sense of humor he brings to his roles. The actor playing Harmony’s younger brother (Keith Poulson) is also quite funny because he makes a career out of annoying his family members.
My Grade: B-