The Happy Poet | Chicago Reader

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New
85 minutes · 2013

Comedy
Unemployed and up to his ears in debt, an effete slacker with an MFA in poetry goes into business selling organic food from a hot dog stand. The premise of this microbudgeted comedy (2010) all but promises hipster self-absorption or smug antihipster satire; for the most part, though, writer-director-producer-editor-star Paul Gordon manages to avoid both, generating good-natured humor through earthy characterization and precise observation of what it’s like to run a small business. (His editing, which often approximates the rhythm of workaday drudgery, is clever without being cutesy.) In its modest, humane tone, this reminded me of the comedies of everyday frustration that have come to distinguish Uruguayan cinema in recent years (e.g., Gigante, A Useful Life, Norberto’s Deadline).

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