Bug  - Dann
Director: Phil Hay Matt Manfredi
Starring: John Carroll Lynch Jamie Kennedy Brian Cox Sarah Paulson Christina Kirk
Once in a while I'll end up watching a movie that falls outside my usual genre comfort. I'm not entire sure what genre this is; it's billed as a Comedy, and it's not quite a drama. Whatever it is, it's entertaining and keeps your interest from start to finish.
The story (or stories really) follow many different characters as their actions interweave and affect each other. Essentially the story begins when a boy steps on a bug. To get an idea of the complexity of the events, this action causes a man to stop and try to reason with the boy. This action results in getting a packing ticket for failure to pay the meter. The carbon copy of the receipt falls in a drain and clogs the water stream, causing the local Asian restaurant's sink to back up. The assistant needs to buy a plunger and borrows money from a friend, who later due to missing the $5, leaves a poor tip. The waiter now doesn't have enough cash to pick up some diapers for his baby and the baby cries all night waking up a couple who get into a discussion about having children someday.
As seen, many actions have a direct reaction, and this flow drives the story. Few times start off on a new tangent, but all are influenced by something that occurred previously. In addition to direct links, some events seemingly have no purpose but will later provide reason for yet another interconnection event. For instance moving back to the bug squashing, an artist witnesses the act and is inspired to sketch it for an advertising piece. This is later made into a billboard that gives a depressed man an idea how to commit suicide. The depression comes from the loss of his pig, from a stray bullet, from an excited cop firing his gun, from learning that his daughter got the lead in a play, from the previous girls parents pulling her from ballet, from the loss of a job, from another couple who are acting off the instructions of a fortune cookie. The fortune cookie is another example of recurring cause and effect, as a few printed early in the movie guide a few outcomes throughout.
Despite the scattershot nature of the events, there are a few constants that permeate the storyline. A Hawaiian get-away forms the end goal of many of the people. Some win a trip, some need a second honeymoon, while others just want to get away. While the reasoning may differ, they all will come face to face, and despite their close proximity and circumstances, they will still not know how dependent their life is on the others. This common trip through does pose some shared danger however.
The other constant is the airplane technician who starts and finishes the story. His story is one that is filled with constant setbacks. If he had a motto, it would be along the lines of: "No good deed goes unpunished". Throughout the story, he is trying to help others, starting with the bug. Each attempt to save the life of a helpless animal results in a personal price paid, usually in the form of a parking ticket but increases with the severity of the life in question. While unsuccessful in saving several animals, he is later called on to help out with human life. First with a depressed man about to commit suicide, which results not only in another parkign ticket, but an action that would lead to his arrest. However this arrest puts him in a possition to save the lives of hundreds.
The story does a great job with pacing and ensure each action is not wasted. There was some great talent in this quirky flick, and I highly recommend it.