January movies have been pretty good this year (M3GAN and Plane are total ultra-campy bangers), and I would’ve thought the streak would continue with Sarah Adina Smith’s The Drop. I was a fool. The Drop is already a great contender for the worst movie of 2023, and the year has just begun. It wants to be an intelligent dark/cringe comedy but is nothing more than a series of embarrassing (and gross) situations with a rogue’s gallery of terribly egotistical people.
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Maybe that was the point? Even then, it shouldn’t be this unfunny. The whole thing is a complete fumble from the start. Still, the humor starts to get in bad taste a few minutes after it begins when Mia (Aparna Nancherla) watches a violent TV show in front of her baby and boasts about the fact that she bought a gun (?) to protect herself for her child. None of that is funny, but she’s inviting her best friends to her intimate wedding, and everything goes wrong from the minute they land, as Lex (Anna Konkle) drops (hence the title) the baby on the floor.
Thankfully, the baby is OK. She will have to wear a helmet for a few months to prevent future injuries, but no damage was done. But a rift has been created, and the wedding turns sour. From there, we’re subjected to gross-out body humor, horribly-written cringeworthy moments, and shockingly bad acting from its leads, who feel like they want to desperately get out immediately and aren’t having fun.
Well, Jillian Bell seems to have fun playing the same character she has been playing since 2017’s Rough Night, but the schtick has grown increasingly tiresome. She’s now been typecasted forever, and it sucks because her acting skills could benefit from getting out of playing the same type of character and showcasing a potential dramatic skill. Utkarsh Ambudkar is also having fun, and his character is the most entertaining of the whole movie. He says things that make no sense for a human being to ever utter and yet says them so convincingly that you can’t help but laugh at them. But the biggest laugh I got from the film involved Elisha Henig as Levi in a moment so unexpected that I almost convinced myself that the film was genius. I won’t spoil it, but it was the only physical joke that landed well because the buildup was adequately done.
The rest of The Drop is an absolute embarrassment. The situations go on for too long, the comedy is poorly-written, and the rest of the performances aren’t good. Konkle is the most embarrassing of all the actors, having to play a character who exudes little to no sympathy from the audience and is a genuinely terrible person. It’s always a challenge for actors to play terrible people, but it’s never good when audiences don’t love the character but the actor playing the character. Jermaine Fowler, as Mani, isn’t a terrible person compared to Lex, but he consistently makes terrible decisions that it’s hard for us not to groan at how self-centered he (and everyone else) is. And since there’s no fun to be had, The Drop fizzles out quicker than you’ll be able to drop *something*. Please be careful.
The Drop is now available to stream on Hulu.
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