Movie Review: “Spent” Is A Dark Comedy About The Value Of Life

Spent-1

In the quaint town of Woodstock, July 4th is a day of freedom for Lonnie (Darren Barzegar) and Evelyn (Connie Lamothe) Schumacher, or so they think. As husband and father, Herbert (Nick Nerangis) lies dying in the hospital from a fatal brain tumor, they generously spend his fortune. Herbert’s frugalness has forced this otherwise upper-middle-class family to live a minimalist lifestyle deprived of basic accommodations which develop a lifelong resentment of his family.

Lonnie aspires to purchase a roadster while Evelyn is enthralled by her romance with a local shop owner. As they prepare to say their goodbyes on this hot summer day, they are given the devastating news that Herbert will, despite all odds, survive.

In an effort to keep their hopes of wealth alive, mother and son devise a plan to eliminate the penny-pinching Herbert with rat poison before he uncovers his life’s savings have dwindled to a mere $28.42. Car salesman Margot (Madeline Mikitarian) and Evelyn’s fling, Gregory (Tony Villa) are all too eager to assist in the termination as they both stand to financially benefit from Herbert’s death. One by one they attempt to rid their lives of the problem that is Herbert, not knowing of each other’s motives.

In the end, Herbert prevails when he reveals during the fireworks display, that he was fully aware of his wife and son’s reckless spending while eating a poisoned pizza delivered by none other than Margot and Gregory. All Herbert ever wanted was for his fortune to have a purpose, and little does he know, it had a significant impact on another family in town. He and Evelyn ultimately succumb to the poisoning, while Lonnie goes on to live his life, and Woodstock is mystified by the unfortunate events.

There is symbolic cinematography throughout the film where color fades to black and white, love turns to hate, and greed ends in death. Theatrical performances were given by all actors and there was a musical element which I found to be charming for a retro-inspired production. Overall, this is worth a watch, just know going in it’s not going to be what you expect from a movie released in 2017.

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