Confess, Fletch

What a pleasant surprise!

I heard absolutely nothing about this film leading up to or including its release, only discovering it on my brother's Plex account. I am a sucker for everything it entails: mystery, charm, Jon Hamm in a leading comedic role. (It is also alarming that I have never heard of the broader Fletch franchise, an omission which I plan to ameliorate over the coming weeks.)

This movie is not a lot of things. It is, for the most part, poorly shot — a move that was intentional, according to the director, though also terribly easy to ascribe to its low budget. (Jon Hamm had to give back two-thirds of his salary to finance the production, and it shows.) It is not particularly coherent: without diving too deep into the minutiae and the spoilers, the inciting crimes don't really have any clever pay-off and the plot hinges on people lying to each other for no reason in particular.

The movie is, though, an absolutely fun hang. The script is clever in a way that you'd probably find annoying in a film with more gravitas but hits you as oddly charming here: every character, even the two-scene wonders, has his or her own bits and foibles. Hamm's performance is just the right level of straight-man and wise-cracking flaneur. It felt very much in the vein of The Thin Man ↗ — sure, it's a bit of a hack to take 75% of a good mystery and 75% of a good rom-com and smash 'em together, but it's so pleasurable its hard to really be upset about it.

All in all, this a hard movie to call your favorite but an exceptionally easy movie to recommend. Perfect airplane movie (and only ninety minutes!)

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© 2023 Justin Duke • I hope you're wearing your favorite sweater.