I was invited to a screening of The Exquisite Corpse Project at a festival last year, and if I'm being honest, I was skeptical about the concept. But since I went to high school with the director, Ben, and my friend Leigh was one of the film's editors, I figured what the hey. I loved it, though. Not, like, "proud of my friends" loved it, but genuinely loved it and would have enjoyed it just as much if I didn't know anyone involved.
The premise is that five comedians write a movie script "together"… but really separately, because each one can only read the previous five pages before contributing his own section. It's a funny idea - and an activity I'd love to participate in, I might add - but I had doubts whether a movie that's humor is derived from inconsistent characters and a disjointed plot could sustain laughter for a full 85 minutes. It's sort of like when someone's like "Read this Madlib we did!" Sure it's amusing enough, but it's never going to be as funny to an outsider as it was for the group of people who played the game.
Don't let that aspect throw you, though. First, I underestimated how funny the movie would be from start to finish. Second, I wasn't aware that the film would be at least half documentary, and that ended up being its strongest component. Ultimately, the story behind the story is more riveting. Plus, it's never a bad time to see a bunch of comedians discuss the creative process and snark on each other.
And while this is going to sound hokey, I feel like The Exquisite Corpse Project taught me something about human nature. Ben's goal with this project was to reunite old friends who had gone down separate paths in the hopes of rekindling the magic. Alas, it doesn't quite work out how he expected: people change and so do their relationships. Thematically, it really resonated with me, and that's not something you find in most comedic films.
The fact that you can purchase it for $5 is a steal, so get on that.