After reading J.R. Jones’s persuasive review of Rumba, I checked out the comedy at Facets last night and am still smiling. I was particularly compelled by Jones’s last line:
“The story plays out with an absolute minimum of dialogue, and the visual gags are highly inventive. In a comedy market dominated by crudity, sarcasm, and smug pop-culture references, laughs this pure hit like lightning.”
I wholeheartedly agree. I see a lot of local stand-up and improv/sketch, and that comedy market is very similar to the mainstream movie comedy market—it’s saturated with dick and fart jokes, foul language, ignorance and jadedness disguised in sarcasm, and I-know-something-about-that-so-ain’t-I-cool-and-smart talk.
Theirs is a world where children are incorporated into the comedy and are neither the butt of the jokes nor manipulated as foils to perverted adults.
Shrug not existentialists: the cuteness stays clear of precious, and there are a few moments that walk the eccentric/creepy line. For example, one peripheral character assaults Dom and, presumably, pays a steep price for his mean-spirited meanness.