After yet another terrible first date Tyler is confronted with the terrifying possibility that his life might all be in his control. With the help of some friends, he sets out to make some changes in Max Aguiar’s feature Hairy.
Opening with a half-naked hipster who has let himself go (the very brave Logan Diemert), Hairy is a black and white romantic comedy that unfortunately lacks in both the romance and comedy stakes. The first thing we notice with Hairy is the running time, it’s 150 minutes long and there is simply not enough in the film to justify such an excessive run time. Whatever possessed Director Max Aguiar to let his feature film run for 2 ½ hours is one of the stranger aspects of this film. Why he lacked so much discipline in the editing suite remains a mystery.
At the beginning of the film, there is a conversation between Tyler and his friend; they meet up, sit at a picnic table, and begin to talk about how Tyler should change for the better. This chat lasts for 14 minutes and we are party to it all. They sit at a table and we just watch two people talk. Scenes that deliver exposition in such a blunt way wouldn’t be a problem if the camerawork helped to give the film some life in the form of variety and movement, but we have just three shots during this scene, a mid-shot of the two friends sitting at the table, and then cuts between our character’s speaking dialogue and their reactions to each other in close-ups.
The plot of Hairy tends to take the form of a small-scale road trip with Tyler driving around his local town, bumping into people, and then striking up conversations with them. In their own way, these scenes are like little vignettes, each lasting a few minutes long. Each scene sees a gathering of different combinations of actors with Tyler. We see all of them talking to him about their own lives. their stories, and their opinions on how he should better himself. There’s really no more to it than that, but if your running time is 2 ½ hours you really do need much more in the form of plot and execution.
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A few of the scenes work, many overstay their welcome, while others seem to lose their way a little bit. And although Aguiar has the writing credit, I have the feeling that during many moments throughout the picture, particularly when Tad turns up at certain points (played by a joyfully coked-up Sabato Imperial), improvisation plays a big part.
My favourite among all of the scenes though are the ones that involve Candy played, with wide-eyed innocence by Amanda Graeff. She is the sweetest character in the entire film and it picks up whenever she is involved. Logan Diemert’s Tyler is a likable slob in the Seth Rogen/Jonah Hill mold, but he just lacks the cutting wit of the latter. In their own compact way, the scenes that these two share do contain a lot of human nature and that magic word, chemistry.
The structure that Tyler needs to change provides all the explanation we need for the motivations of our characters, although sometimes the actors seem a little self-conscious. Yet the black and white photography does give the film a certain classic quality and the easy listening soundtrack provides a lot of joy. At the end of the day though, for Hairy to find an appreciative audience, director Aguiar needs to be more brutal in the edit. A comedy usually comes in at around the 90-minute mark, which is an hour less than this.