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Wednesday
Dec232015

Uncle Nick

Uncle Nick
Directed by: Chris Kasick
Released on: December 4th, 2015
Grade: 3 out of 5 meatballs
Reviewed by: John Esther

Featuring a performance and physique few A-list actors would maintain in a Holiday-centered film, Brian Posehn plays the eponymous character in Chris Kasick's directorial debut, Uncle Nick.

We first meet Nick at home, lounging around in his boxers, surrounded by empty bottles of booze and X-rated material streaming on his laptop. When he stands up, he is all flab, rubber and smooth (except for a stretchmark he will inquire about later). Audiences may also ask: Is he too drunk to get an erection?

A lonely guy with seemingly nothing positive going on in his life, Nick finds out from his mother's nursing home that she will not be able to spend Christmas eve with her family. This does not sit well for Nick. He wanted his mother along, at least to serve as a buffer against his detestable brother, Cody (Beau Ballinger), and as a ride over to said brother's house. Nick just got a DUI.

Oddly enough, not all hope is lost for Nick this Christmas; he still thinks he has a chance with his niece-by-marriage, Val (Melia Renee).

Upon arrival at the very nice home of his brother, courtesy of his sugar mama, Sophie (Paget Brewster), Nick continues his holiday drunken binge while making awkward small talk with Val, snide remarks against Cody and unsuccessful attempts at prying his nephew, Marcus (Jacob Houston), away from his computer.

With very few social filters in place and much booze to boot, Nick threatens to destabilize the dysfunction of the family further, perhaps ruining Christmas once and all for him and his family.

To guide Nick's morale, screenwriter Michael Demski, uses the infamous Cleveland Indians game of June 4, 1974, when fans were allowed to buy beers for 10 cents each — without any limit — to chronicle the family dynamic with such memes from "America's pastime" as "The Pitch" (Inning 1), "Hit. Him. Harder" (Inning 4) and "Bases Loaded" (Inning 9) as some sort of social juxtaposition between Nick's family and the large Cleveland populace (at least its Cleveland Indians fans).

Unless the likes of Bad Santa is your typical Holiday cinematic fare, Uncle Nick is rather refreshing, if sometimes hyperbolic, when it comes to offering a more realistic illustration about what happens when family members are forced to deal with one another during the holidays. It certainly is a funnier "holiday" film than most.

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