Fifty Pills
Lou Taylor Pucci, Kirsten Bell, John Hensley
Directed by Theo Avgerinos
Echo Bridge Home Entertainment 2007
83 minutes

Fifty Pills is your basic college comedy DVD for the dorm crowd. It has the standard self-conscious voice-over and talking to the camera approach now common to the genre. Unlike many other such comedies, Fifty Pills does not aim for the lowest common denominator of gross-out and T & A jokes. It also includes decent performances and writing, and, most of all, an interesting story that kind of keeps you going. At 83 minutes this comedy does not overstay its welcome or oversell the jokes and quirky characters and this makes for a neat little movie if you like independent movies. It also features a pretty good soundtrack.

Lou Taylor Pucci (Thumbsucker and Fast Food Nation) is first-year student Darren. He falls in love with Gracie (Kirsten Bell of Veronica Mars fame) and loses his scholarship because his cooler than cool roommate Coleman (John Hensley) threw one party too many. Darren risks losing the girl of his dreams when he tries to pay for college and avoid expulsion by selling fifty ecstasy pills Coleman gave him to sell.

Fifty Pills soon becomes the story of Darren’s encounters with Coleman’s clients and enemies as he tries to sell the pills in three days to cover his tuition while still working on a paper on Dante’s Inferno. This kind of warrants the very episodic feel to this college comedy DVD. Some of Darren’s encounters, such as with the dominatrix who operates in her grandmother’s basement and her three sex slaves, are definitely weird. Some, as with cousin Ralphie, a Diff’rent Strokes fan, are a bit long and belong in the chewing scenery category. He also gets into trouble when his girlfriend starts suspecting he is selling ecstasy and disapproves, catches the attention of some cops, and gets kidnapped by some thugs.

Not all of the performances here are stellar. The atrocious Michael Pena and his two buddies look like suburb dudes who based their interpretation of bad guys on a few too many bad rap videos. Not all of the scenes, such as Coleman’s problems with his girlfriend or Darren trying to convince his parents he is not gay, move the movie forward.

The romantic part of the movie which was to be its driving force kind of gets lost but overall, Fifty Pills is an interesting little independent comedy and if you like indies you will probably enjoy it a bit more.

I am still not certain about what the ending to this independent movie DVD is about.


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