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Inside Out 2012: ‘My Best Day’ is as American as a McDonalds apple pie

My Best Day

Written and directed by Erin Greenwell

USA, 2012

At one point in the film, Karen (Rachel Style) says that, “I’m sick of all the bullshit streaming out of everyone’s mouth. Including my own”. Out of all the ornate, haphazard, and abject silliness that happens in Erin Greenwell’s My Best Day, this statement is the only point of genuine certitude.

The film begins with Karen, a receptionist at a refrigerator repair shop. Through her narration and a Juno like collage of Polaroid’s, we find that she’s somewhat of an orphan, looking for her estranged father. When she suspects one caller to be her long lost dad, Karen enlists the help of her friend Meagan (Ashlie Atkinson) to find the truth.

Although many of the situations posited in the film are sincere and tenable, the way the film goes about actualizing them is not. Never rooted in reality, events are largely arbitrary and random, relying on a typically indie score and quirky acting to make them justified.

The characters themselves are not particularly endearing, mostly because they are largely facile. Most of the characters fall under social genres (such as being adopted, a gambler, vegetarian, bullied) with their filmic translation being equally cliché.

Even though we are initially introduced to Karen, the film itself doesn’t have a protagonist, choosing to pay equal attention to its many players. Without a singular person to care about, and a cast full of throwaway side characters, the film’s offbeat escapades lack meaning and importance.

Thankfully, the film is only 75 minutes, but even then, the running time seems generous due to the perceptible lack of substance. My Best Day strives to be a slice of life film about small town Americana, but the result is as American as a McDonalds apple pie.

– Justin Li

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