SUNDANCE 2021 PREMIERE –Written and directed by brothers Lenny and Harpo Guit, Mother Schmuckers (2021) is a madcap comedic romp that has body humor, toilet humor, disgustingly dirty humor, and somewhere in there, there is a plot to find a beloved family dog which seems more like an afterthought, but that is okay, because in the Guit bros’ backward world it is about the journey of shenanigans rather than their half-baked conclusion.
Mother Schmuckers follows two brothers who spend their days milling about town while their mother works the local redlight district. When they accidentally leave their mother’s dog unattended he is dog-napped and held for ransom. The captor agrees to return the dog, and all it will cost is one night with the boys’ beautiful mother. Disgusted by the man she disagrees with the exchange, forcing the brothers to try to reclaim the dog through other methods.
Literally, my jaw hit the floor within the first 60 seconds, and so many outrageous things kept happening I figured I might well just leave it there until the movie ended about 60 minutes later. Mother Schmuckers is one of the nastiest, the trashiest, the dumbest, most immature movies I have seen–a hilariously good time! I just hope that somehow the great Divine is raising her already perfectly arched eyebrow somewhere and giving a nod to the Guit bros’ bravery in also doing poop play for shock value. I had wanted to look away, at times, but I was forced to pay close attention to this French-language comedy as the dialogue goes fast, with snippy and trippy quips being mixed in with quick edits of absurd happenings to create a slurry of funny madness in one scene after another.
Surprisingly, drugs are omitted from the movie, but despite that fact, Mother Schmuckers feels like a total stoner comedy. The Guit brothers don’t hold back, and deliver high energy body humor and over the top skits that lean into poor acting to create comedy, though, in my opinion, these skits are missing some thoughtful satire. More characters could have been comedic as well, as it seemed that most, if not all, of the other characters in the movie were used as straight-men to their buffoonery, but perhaps any further comedic notes would have been like beating a dead horse.
After viewing their no holds barred style of humor I am very interested to know who their comedic influences are. Their personal aesthetics, and certainly their musical choices, seem purposefully dated and lovingly anachronistic. Though admittedly I did laugh out loud once or twice while watching Mother Schmuckers, ridiculousness for ridiculous’s sake is not really my cup of comedy tea, personally, so the antics didn’t always land well with me, however, I can appreciate the movie for what it is–just a stupid movie to have a laugh at. It is likely a safe expenditure of time for anyone who enjoys Sacha Baron Cohen’s character-comedies, however, I would say that the Guit brothers, by comparison, have a comedy style that is less focused on any social or political commentary and more so on just reveling in rebellious ruses.
Adrienne Reese is a fan of movies - the good, the bad, and the ugly - and came to the horror genre by way of getting over her fear of... everything. Adrienne also writes for the Frida Cinema, and in addition to film enjoys cooking, Minesweeper, and binge-watching Game of Thrones.