Lisa Brenner in SAY MY NAME | ©2019 Electric Entertainment

Lisa Brenner in SAY MY NAME | ©2019 Electric Entertainment

Rating: R
Stars: Lisa Brenner, Nick Blood, Celyn Jones, Mark Bonnar, Alan Cox, Peter Davison
Writer: Deborah Frances-White
Director: Jay Stern
Distributor: Electric Entertainment
Release Date: July 14, 2019

Poor Statton Taylor (Nick Blood). A piano tuner on a small island of the coast of Wales, he has a very tamped-down existence. Statton decides to cut loose one night with pretty American Mary (Lisa Brenner), who he meets in a pub. He promptly forgets her name when they’re in bed together (his mnemonic trick produces the wrong moniker). She is offended. Then their already-interrupted one-night stand in a hotel room is invaded by robbers Kipper (Celyn Jones) and Dec (Mark Bonnar).

This is only the first of the twists and turns in SAY MY NAME. Written by Deborah Frances-White and directed by Jay Stern, SAY MY NAME mixes dark comedy (less black than grey) with a slowly budding rom-com. Statton is provincial and not bold, but can rise to an occasion; Mary is glib and has quite a back story, but still is vulnerable. Kipper has a logic all his own; Dec is dangerous.

The tone here is consistently droll. Director Stern gives his cast room to breathe and uses a lot of medium and wide shots, so that we can see everyone’s reactions at once. There is a bit of a stage feel to SAY MY NAME, with long sequences set in single locations. Eventually, the action opens up, but the focus is much more on the characters and the plot entanglements than on Welsh scenery.

Brenner gives us a woman who is game for (almost) anything. Anyone familiar with Blood’s work on AGENTS OF SHIELD will find him almost unrecognizable here as the timid, straight-laced Statton. Jones finds humor in his dimwitted hood who resents being labeled a sidekick, and Bonnar is persuasive as the exasperated but deadly Dec. DOCTOR WHO fans should enjoy seeing Peter Davison as a cavalier defense lawyer.

SAY MY NAME harks back to modestly-budgeted, performance-driven comedies of the ‘70s and ‘80s. Those looking for a nostalgic kick will find it here.

Related: Exclusive Interview with SAY MY NAME actress Lisa Brenner on her new romantic comedy

Related: Exclusive Interview with SAY MY NAME director Jay Stern on his new quirky romantic comedy

CLICK HERE TO FIND THEATERS PLAYING SAY MY NAME

And on Saturday, June 15, 2019, director Jay Stern and actress Lisa Brenner will appear for a special Q&A after the 6:00pm show at the Arena Cinelounge in Los Angeles. CLICK HERE for more details

SAY MY NAME Q&A | ©2019 Electric Entertainment

SAY MY NAME Q&A | ©2019 Electric Entertainment

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Article: Movie Review: SAY MY NAME

 

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