The Marc Pease Experience – good cast, but no Rushmore

marcpeaseexperience-trashwireEight years after running off the stage screaming during a high school production of “The Wiz,” Marc Pease still finds himself living in the past. This is the plot of the new film The Marc Pease Experience, directed by Todd Louiso (Love Liza) and starring the always great, Jason Schwartzman as the title character, Marc Pease.

Now 26, Marc is a limo driver with the dream of recording a demo with his 8-piece, a cappella group which actually happens to be down to just four members now. He plans to raise the funds to record the demo by selling his condo and his hopes are that his former high school music teacher and mentor, Jon Gribble (Ben Stiller), will produce. However, Gribble still has not forgiven Marc for running out on him. Ironically, Marc’s current girlfriend, Meg Brickman (Anna Kendrick), is in the choir of Gribble’s first production of “The Wiz” since the night Marc ran off screaming. Oh and did I mention, Meg and Gribble are also have some sort of a strange affair?

This movie has pretty much been scrapped by Paramount Vantage, getting an extremely limited release playing in very few cities and has been bashed quite heavily by the few critics that have seen it, however, I feel that’s a little unfair.

Sure, the movie has its fair share of flaws, like the fact that Marc is trying to sell his condo to record a demo. I think pretty much everyone knows that you can record your demo for a lot less than what you’d get for selling your condo. In addition, the chemistry between some of the characters isn’t exactly great, most notably between Meg and Gribble, and Meg and Marc. Meg is apparently supposed to have some type of physical relationship with both Marc and Gribble, but she looks uncomfortable with both of them.

The plot was fairly weak. It was almost like a really, really, really, poor version of Rushmore. The characters weren’t developed very well and we didn’t get to know too much about most of them.

However, with that being said, I still found the movie to be enjoyable. Schwartzman and Stiller were great together. They didn’t share a lot of screen time, but when they did have time together, it was hilarious. I’d really like to see the two of them do work together again in the future.

Clearly, this movie isn’t for everyone, or most people for that matter, but I think a friend of mine summed it up best when she said, “The Marc Pease Experience wasn’t great. But guess what? Jason Schwartzman and Ben Stiller are.”

Chris Coffel

My name is Chris Coffel from Phoenix, Arizona. I love film and the Phoenix Suns. I write movie reviews for Trashwire and write about the Phoenix Suns for Downtown Phoenix Journal. I’m also the co-host of a movie podcast focusing on fringe cinema, the Dark of the Matinee. Please subscribe to my show on iTunes.

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