Review: Best Of Seven

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This is the debut feature from writer/director/producer/actor Jonnie Stapleton and straight out of the gate he has proven that he is a force to be reckoned with. What begins like “Dennis the Menace” by way of the The Farrelly Brothers quickly turns to a twisted and hilarious dark comedy that is surprisingly deep and layered.

The set up is simple. a young man with a multiple personality disorder is made to go one week without his medication after a supposed accidental overdose. Once the meds are gone and the personalities start to multiply then things start to get tricky. To say any more would do the film a disservice as I got so much enjoyment from watching this madness unfold and a lot of that had to do with knowing absolutely nothing about the narrative beforehand.

The first thing that must be commended here is the entirely astonishing performances from Jonnie Stapleton himself. What he was able to construct here through his various characters included elements of Jim Carrey with a big splash of early Adam Sandler all filtered through the sieve of Michael Keaton in “Multiplicity” yet somehow he manages to completely stand out on his own by the end of the final reel. It is a really impressive feat and I have absolutely no doubt in my mind that we will be seeing a lot more of this man in the coming years.



As impressive as Jean-Claude Van Damme was at playing both of the brothers Alex and Chad Wagner in “Double Impact” (Which we discussed at length in our premiere episode of Sudden Double Deep  –  it really doesn’t compare to what Stapleton has managed here in playing 7 different roles with such commitment that they are not only all very easily distinguishable but also an absolute joy to watch.

We have the main character of John who is depressed and bored and then we have the splintered smorgasbord of the rest of his personality. These include his old childhood imaginary friend Jack who has grown up to be a slob and a sexual deviant, a gym obsessed neanderthal who never misses an opportunity to flex, a camp accountant who is just as interested in crunching the numbers as he is complementing John’s work colleagues, a dainty southern belle who wouldn’t be out of place next to Lady Chablis and Kevin Spacey in Clint Eastwood’s “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil”  and finally, if somewhat inexplicably, a Russian capitalist by the name of Boris who loves two things, his vodka and his revolver. That is an extensive list and believe me when I say that every one of them is played with passion and commitment and they really make this film the triumph that it is.

There is a great supporting cast present here and some wonderful sound and camera work from a team lead by Co-writer/Cinematographer/Producer Domenico Grasso that really get a whole lot from what I imagine must have been a very modest budget indeed. Not only is this a great film that I fully recommend seeking out when it is released on VOD on September 16th but it is probably one of my favourite comedies of the year so far. A wonderful surprise of a movie!


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2 COMMENTS
  • Maria Collis 7th September 2016

    Thanks Ben for your insightful write up of this jewel of a movie and for not ruining it by telling too much! Great work!

    • Ben Challoner 19th September 2016

      Thanks Maria, I’m glad you found the movie too! Hopefully the word continues to spread

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