Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

Kevin (Scott Hilton) is having a horrible start to his day. His lovely girlfriend has just announced to him that she is leaving him. Kevin doesn’t understand this considering they ‘made love’ the night before. The lovely soon-to-be ex-girlfriend rudely corrects Kevin with information that they just ‘f**ked’ and has also told Kevin to consider this a ‘goodbye gift’. For whatever reason Kevin is heartbroken, especially when one considers the other option was to NOT to have had sex the night before and still end up getting his ass left. Where I come from we call that a win-win situation. And thus we have the launching point for director Blake Van de Gaaf’s used car comedy ‘Slightly Used’ which, oddly enough, is the second Used Car movie I’ve seen in like two consecutive days since I had just seen the much bigger and louder, but not necessarily better Hollywood Used Car movie ‘The Goods: Live Hard Sell Hard’ just hours ago.

Our movie centers around a single day in the life of this used car lot where we zero in on the character of Brice (Neil Green) who is the self-centered top dog of this lowly car lot, or at least he was until Jordan (Robin Frigeri), the sexually challenged salesman of the group has snatched that top spot away. So the plan for Brice from that point is very simple, gather his team which includes his best friend, the aforementioned broken hearted Kevin and also the broken hearted and suicidal Harvey (Timothy Paul McCarthy) whose wife has just left him and I don’t recall Harvey mentioning receiving any glorious ‘goodbye gifts’ from this woman. When actor Timothy Paul McCarthy shows up on the screen in this movie do not be tricked into thinking, like I was, that this is New Orleans Saints Tight End Jeremy Shockey in this movie. It’s not him. Perhaps his Separated at Birth twin brother, but it’s not him. Back on point, Brice will find he is having all kinds of trouble with this best friend of his as he has ‘seen the light’ so to speak and has chosen to never lie to sell a car ever again which conflicts with everything The Universe knows about used car salesmen.

This being a used car lot of course it is filled with all kinds of colorful individuals like Joe the burrito eating mechanic (Paul Joseph Walker) who is putting the completely work place inappropriate full court press on Alyssa the bitchy receptionist (Saffron Cassaday). At least I think she’s the receptionist because I can’t recall her answering a phone or greeting a customer or doing any other kind of receptionist type stuff in this movie. There’s also The Boss (Damon E. White) who is profane to a fault, deep in debt and attempting to cajole our movies ‘good girl’ in Stacey (Jen Progue) to doctor his books. She claims she doesn’t know how to do this. Show me an accountant who doesn’t know how to keep two sets of books and I’ll show you a garbage man. Or an astronaut. Or a cowboy because that person would not be an Accountant. And that’s pretty much it to this movie. Just watch these people try to make it through the day and laugh at them in their failures to do so.

‘Slightly Used’ as it turns out is actually a pretty damn funny movie, albeit one without much aim to it. Most movies have some kind of rudimentary goal associated with the mayhem and chaos, and this one might’ve had one with that goal being whoever sells the most cars by the end of the day will get to be in the TV commercial with the crippled retarded kid… that’s them talking, not me… So we’ll go ahead and say that ‘Slightly Used’ possesses a cinematic narrative that isn’t exactly ‘goal oriented’. All things considered maybe that’s not an altogether bad thing since goals can get in the way of the true purpose which is to offend mightily on the road comic enlightenment.

Neil Green, this films star and the man who has conceived this story shows here that the young man has absolutely no shame in the depths he is willing to mine for nuggets of comedy gold. Sure it shouldn’t be funny watching a grown man snap a child’s neck but in this circumstance it was pretty funny. Watching some guy place all of his major life decisions in the trusty hands of a Magic 8-Ball probably shouldn’t be all that funny, but it was funny here, and there were all kinds of inappropriately funny moments strewn across the running time in this movie. Plus the movie was educational. Who knew that simply wearing a pink suit with a ruffled shirt made you gay? All this time I just thought it meant you had terrible taste.

There were times, naturally, that a joke here or a joke there didn’t work all that well and some of the hard working and earnest actors in our film possibly could’ve used a touch up refresher acting course down a the local community college, but director Van de Graff, whose previous movie of his that we saw was the quirky superhero flick ‘The Sidekick’, which was absolutely nothing like this movie, seemed to be a very effective ringmaster in keeping the action moving, the plethora of jokes flowing and keeping the spirited cast under some reasonable modicum of control.

‘Slightly Used’ is a funny movie and matches that other used car comedy I saw the night before laugh for laugh. Erratic in spots here and there and some out there might find the movie offensive, but I think this depends largely on how gay you are. So in a sense this is a good measuring stick. If this movie really offends you, then it is very likely that you are gay. Not that there’s a damn thing wrong with that.

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