One of the many things I love about indie filmmaking is that it lets us explore niche sub-cultures and the larger than life characters who take claim to it.
That is why when I saw the feature MICerz was playing the Valley Film Festival this year, I had to see it. MICerz is about a community of struggling stand up comedians who need to save the open mic venue they call home.
Dave, the venue owner played by Joe Manente and Arnold, a guy who finds himself living in his van which stalled in the parking lot of the venue lead this charge and develop what proves to be a rocky friendship. It is interesting to note that Joe Manente not only stars in MICerz , but is an executive producer as well.
Arnold was played with subtlety by Austin Torelli and makes for a great contrast to Dave’s energy. This duo has a chemistry that really works and held my interest. MICerz features real life comedians such as Dante Chang, Kevin Paniagua and Cameron Moffid. A nice touch here, it clearly added to the realism of many scenes.
I have a few friends who are stand-up comics, given what they told me MICerz gave an accurate portrayal of the lifestyle and struggles of the stand-up world. Jealousy and tough love is dished out, yet at the end of the day these open mic misfits are a family.
Bombing on stage and dealing with hecklers is a big part of it, which MICerz shows with honesty and comic relief. Kaylah Pantaleon plays Nelly, a female comic holding her own in this male dominated arena of stand up comedy.
Being a low budget indie film, MICerz is not without a blemish or two. There were some erratic camera movements I could have done without. These moments briefly took me out of the emotions a certain scenes.
Some improvised dialogue led to a cut mid-sentence at the end of a scene. Also, with a runtime of 1 hour and 53 minutes, this was one set that seemed to go over its time. These things may just add charm to fans of indie film and mumblecore, you can watch the movie and decide for yourself.
I enjoyed Micerz overall. This was a debut feature for Omar Dzlieri as a Writer/Director. Not a bad start at all. MICerz gives us a fresh take on the stand up comedy world unlike prior films such as Funny People and The Big Sick.
No, this is the less glamorous side of stand up comedy. The sparse crowds, desperation and five dollar buy ins. If you enjoy scrappy comedies about interesting people, MICerz should be on your list.
25th January 2022
1hr 53 Mins
THE QUICK SELL
A review of the Comedy Micerz as seen at The Valley Film Festival 2021. This is the story of struggling stand-up comedians who have to save the open mic venue they call home.