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Tupelo Film Fest Review – Book of Wisdom ****

May 19, 2008

Josh Kimmel, producer and actor of Book of Wisdom, accepts an award at Tupelo Film Festival.

The tag line for Book of Wisdom kinda says it all. “Having all the answers isn’t what it’s cracked up to be.” The short film serves as a reminder that sometimes confidence and success comes more from within than having some sort of guidebook to tell you how to live. Although the film has a message, it is never heavy handed and even uses some interesting costumes to lighten one of the heavier scenes at the end.

Danny Brown, played by Canadian actor Josh Kimmel, is unhappy with his life. He is lonely because the girl of his dreams (played by Erika Rosenbaum of The Last Kiss) doesn’t even know he exists but his annoying co-worker (Mike Paterson) won’t stop noticing and picking on him. Danny receives a magical book, which cleverly, the movie never tries to explain. After that he is able to receive “all the answers” to life’s problems.

The book serves up its wisdom with a voice over from Noel Burton (you may recognize the name from his role as the prison doctor in Gothika). As much as I tend to dislike voice overs, this movie does it well, and Burton’s voice adds to the humor. What else adds to the comic blend is actress Christine Ghawi. A Canadian actress that has even played Celine Dion on a made for TV movie about the singer’s life, Ghawi is one to look out for. Her delivery and timing with her lines is phenomenal.

Kimmel plays the typical awkwardly adorable geek that can be funny just by his actions. One of the best examples of it is when the girl he likes sits down on the couch next to him and he sits up straight and forward and uncomfortably adjusts his shirt. It is exactly my kind of humor and I laughed out loud.

The story was written by Ryan Costello, Jr, a playwright who wrote this as his first film script. I am looking forward to seeing what he writes next. Here’s a trailer of the short. It just won second place for Best Short at the Tupelo Film Festival. I’m sure you’ll be seeing it at more fests soon.


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