Description (from the box):
James and Jenna Gunn… play a wealthy couple looking to give back to the homeless community through their new charity, LolliLove. The idea is simple: By giving out lollipops with inspirational artwork and cheery slogans on the wrapper, LolliLove will eradicate homelessness by transforming your average “homeless person” into an important and loved “happy person.” This satiric mix of fact and fiction documents (or ‘mockuments’) James and Jenna’s hilarious odyssey as they attempt to solicit corporate sponsorship, overcome strains on their marriage, and enlist celebrity friends like Linda Cardellini, Judy Greer, and Jason Segel as they try to prove how very, very, very, very charitable they are!
James Gunn as Himself, Jenna Fischer as Herself, and Lloyd Kaufman as Father Lloyd
Directed by Jenna Fischer
LolliLove is a great concept for a mockumentary. A wealthy, somewhat powerful Hollywood couple (James Gunn and real life wife Jenna Fischer) decides that they will give back to their community by starting a charity. After agonizing over many worthy recipients of their focus, the couple finds who they feel is most deserving of their attention: the homeless. And so, LolliLove is born. Sounds noble, right? Too bad all they are giving the destitute are lollipops… and if any one group in America (or anywhere, for that matter) doesn’t need any more dental hygiene problems, it’s the homeless!
James Gunn and Jenna Fischer play caricatures of themselves as they try to build their charity organization. James is the oblivious Hollywood power-monger, just starting to come into season. Jenna is the always optimistic believer who has gone from model to actress to the most important role (for her), fund-raiser.
James is an “artist,” who allows the canvas to speak for him. He believes that the art is in the canvas and lets the canvas tell him what to paint. This sounds very high-and-mighty, and it would be were the canvas not a piece of colored poster board. James’ art looks like it was made by a 10-year old; while the art supposed to be inspirational to the homeless person who eats the lollipop (if they even take the time to look at the wrapper), the art seems more like it is lampooning its audience. James has multiple “characters” to reach different cultures, but these are just very plain stereotypes with names.
Jenna is the fundraiser, and being a person who has had jobs involving calling people on the phone and asking them for money, I felt for her character. Jenna slides from extremely perky, polite and optimistic down to depressed, defeated and nearly manic. A day worth of being hung up on, cussed at, and generally treated like crap on the phone will do that to you.
Through Jenna’s pursuit of corporate sponsorship for her charity we are given one of the best scenes of the film: the corporate presentation. In this scene James and Jenna act out a short skit for a interested business owner. Jenna is by far the best looking homeless person I’ve seen, even a beanie can’t make a difference there. James is the “important businessman” who shows he can care by… giving the homeless a lollipop! Yes, why didn’t we think of this before?!
The film continues the build up to its finale, the distribution of the pops. And you can imagine what happens when you take beautiful Hollywood people, dress them up, and have them hand out lollipops to the homeless. Well, if you can’t imagine then you will just have to see it for your self, I don’t want to ruin those laughs for you.
Like This is Spinal Tap or Best in Show, LolliLove excels when it tries to slip one by you. Many of the jokes are subtle, making sure that you are paying attention. Many other jokes are far from subtle; for example, James’ germ problem and his solution when they go to pass out the lollipops. Much of the film (if not all) seems like improv, and this helps to solidify the feeling that we’re watching a documentary, not fiction – making the fiction all that much funnier.
Overall, LolliLove was a fine addition to the mockumentary sub-genre of comedy. Unlike many less-well executed mockumentaries, LolliLove doesn’t try to push it’s comedy too far. What I love about LolliLove is that the film never goes so extreme that if you didn’t know it was a joke, you probably wouldn’t get it. LolliLove does a great job of not straying too far from what could be a real documentary; this is what makes the best mockumentaries.
Overall 7.5 / 10
LolliLove on the imdb: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0316187/
LolliLove for sale: https://buy.tromamovies.com/product_info.php?products_id=543
LolliLove site: http://www.myspace.com/lollilove