“DONALD CRIED” My rating: B
85 minutes | NoMPAA rating
Kris Avedisian’s “Donald Cried” is a comedy of discomfort.
The premise finds a reasonably normal individual being held a virtual captive by a socially inept, borderline delusional idiot whose behavior is alternately needy, manic and childlike.
But beneath the film’s high squirm factor some interesting cross currents are at work. Avedisian’s screenplay is sneakily good at misdirection, and before it’s over our views of these characters will undergo a significant metamorphosis.
NYC investment banker Peter (Jesse Wakeman) has returned to his wintry New England home town to settle the estate of the grandma who raised him. He’s not happy to be back…in fact, he’s not set foot in the place since his high school graduation 20 years earler.
To make things worse, he lost his wallet — cash, credit cards, i.d. — on the bus ride from the city. Desperate, he reluctantly turns to his neighbor and boyhood friend Donald (director Avedisian), a gawky manchild with a terminal case of arrested development.
Donald is a total geek who apparently cuts his own hair with manicure scissors. He still lives in his mother’s house and works a part time in a bowling alley. He does a lot of pot and blow. His hobby is attending adult entertainment conventions. (“Do you still masturbate?” is one of his first questions to his long-lost friend.)