Searching For Bobby D
William DeMeo, Tylor Beckford, Sandra Bernhard, Carmen Electra
Directed by Paul Borghese
Written by William DeMeo and Paul Borghese
VVS Films 2006
105 minutes

Searching for Bobby D (aka Searching For Bobby DeNiro) is an independent comedy now on DVD. I usually do not expect much from indie films when the writers are also the star and the director so this comedy about a nice Italian boy trying to make his own movie to jumpstart his and his friends’ career is not particularly bad.

The fun in-joke in Searching For Bobby D is how Johnny Argano (DeMeo) rails that the only parts for Italian actors are of goombahs in mafia movies and the first thing you know there are a lot of Italian actors playing goombahs in this comedy. Also, if you look carefully at the background there is always a mafia movie poster in most scenes.

Kevin Dobson of Kojak fame plays the rich guy who decides to finance Johnny’s movie because he believes Bobby D is going to star in it and his son is going to get a part. Since De Niro is not going to be in the movie, the boys hire an impersonator (Lillo Brancato). Somehow, Johnny gets the financing for his movie but his backer, well, you have to watch this comedy to believe it.

Things get weirder after that when the boys decide to hold open auditions for actor-financiers. Sandra Bernhard plays a producer who works for DeNiro and gets roped into helping Johnny and his friends put the movie together. Jackie the Joke Man Martling also has a short cameo as one of the auditioners. The movie veers into a bad college frat boy comedy for a while before getting back on track.

Searching For Bobby D is not perfect. This independent comedy does have a few scenes that either do not move the movie forward, like the encounter with the cops, or are just facile, like the “Can you hear me now?” bit. A little cutting would have made for a tighter movie.

There are some good moments, some lesser moments, and this, overall, makes for a not bad movie that could have been better. This is what really bugged me. The writing is there, the acting is there, there are a lot of former Sopranos goombahs in various roles, but the whole is less than its parts.


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