This week’s choice for the BitPix Pick of the Week is Nell Teare’s comedy Pappy Hour, written by Andrea J. Millard. It’s a wild comedy that focuses on Jean, a woman who has to handle the complex landscape of family dysfunction while attending her father’s funeral. From the crazed sister of the deceased to Jean’s hard-nosed cop brother, nothing is normal about this attempt to honor family, as everything goes awry pretty quickly as Jean attempts to keep things civil so they can say goodbye and grant her father’s last wish of taking his ashes and placing them in the nearby river.
More of a dark comedy, this film still has plenty of laughs. The final scene in particular is a good-hearted moment that genuinely brings a smile, especially when things inevitably go sideways at the most heartfelt of times.
Pappy Hour does a wonderful job of showing the difficulty of gathering so many different people together, even under the circumstance of trying to say goodbye to someone they all cared for in their own way. There are moving moments, moments of ridiculousness and moments that are very touching, all in the short 11 minute runtime of the film.
While Samantha Sloyan shines as Jean and drives the entire film, bringing a beautiful ethos to the devoted daughter just trying to do her best at a difficult time, its the supporting cast that gives this film so much color. From Christopher Amitrano’s Richard, the stubborn cop who, despite his rough exterior, loves both his sister and his father in his own way, to April Lang’s Diane, the wild sister who seems to continually find ways to make things even tougher. Add in Myles Cranford, who plays the straight-laced but very in touch with his emotions Mr. Hayworth, a fellow service member of the deceased and Jan Haley’s Gloria, the widow who seems to be handling things in her own unique way, and it all meshes to form an excellent ensemble cast that plays very well off of one another.
Pappy Hour is a well-done and touching film that brings all the insanity of bringing family together and all of the difficulty of loss, wrapping it all up into a very interesting look into how that loss is handled by everyone, and how, despite the multitude of dysfunction that can exist in a family, they all eventually come together to do the right thing.
This is a film that deserves all of the many accolades its gotten thus far, and it’s now available to check out on BitPix as this week’s Pick of the Week selection.