October 04, 1991 at 04:00 AM EDT

The Big Dis

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
Unrated
runtime
84 minutes
performer
Gordon Eriksen, James Haig
director
Gordon Eriksen, John O'Brien
distributor
First Run Features
author
Gordon Eriksen, John O'Brien
genre
Drama, Comedy
We gave it a B

It’s Porky’s for real: A young blood returns to his suburban neighborhood on weekend leave, spends 48 hours trying to find love, and gets precisely nowhere, partly because he’s a chucklehead and partly because the Fates love a good laugh. Filmed in no-budget black and white by Harvard grads Gordon Eriksen and John O’Brien, The Big Dis (as in disrespect, which is all our hero ever gets) uncannily captures the aimlessness of its racially mixed lower-middle-class setting. It’s so you-are-there that renters who already are there may wonder why they bothered. Still, James Haig is perfect as J.D., the soldier boy torn between acting like the macho dog his culture tells him to be and the basically nice guy he is. His predicaments are both hilarious and harrowing. For all its improvisational feel, The Big Dis is a lot less slight than it appears: By weekend’s end, poor J.D. still doesn’t have a clue, but the same can’t be said for the viewer. B

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