Movie review of “Buddymoon”: A miserable American actor and relentlessly upbeat German musician slog their way through a long backpacking trip in Oregon, and have to come to terms with being an odd couple in the wilderness. Rating: 3 stars out of 4.
“Don’t let the trail hike you. You hike the trail.”
Everyone should have a friend like Flula (Flula Borg), a ridiculously optimistic German musician hiking with his American friend David (David Giuntoli) through the wilds of Oregon in the frequently funny “Buddymoon.”
Speaking in surreal riddles that somehow radiate compassion, Flula’s good vibes are precisely what David — a struggling actor recently dumped by his fiancée (Jeanne Syquia) — needs to get back into life. He just doesn’t know it.
Movie Review ★★★
‘Buddymoon,’ with Flula Borg, David Giuntoli, Jeanne Syquia. Directed by Alex Simmons, from a screenplay by Simmons, Borg and Giuntoli. 80 minutes. Not rated; for mature audiences. Sundance Cinemas (21+).
Licking his wounds while waiting to hear if he landed the role of William Clark (of Lewis and Clark fame) for a movie, David is reluctantly dragged by Flula onto the very backpacking trip that was supposed to be his honeymoon. Moping, he is admonished by Flula to be strong and let the fresh air do its magic.
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Good advice, but then again Flula is a kook who confuses Lewis and Clark with Lois and Clark, and is outraged that Superman must have been a slave owner. He inexplicably describes a troupe of gentle Renaissance musicians they meet as “Vikings,” and tells a stranger his friendship with David “sprouted like … asparagus, but doesn’t make your urine smell.”
A running joke finds David narrating passages from William Clark’s journals, which eerily correspond to his misadventures with Flula. But the throwaway-comedy ideas here work best, such as gorging on magic mushrooms and then encountering something wild — a genuinely hilarious moment.
If you’re partial to the Northwest outdoors, co-writer and director Alex Simmons (best known for documentaries) makes the long trip a visual treat, too. Indeed it is time for fresh air.