Ryan Pinkston. Yeah, I've never heard of him either, but that didn't stop New Line Cinema from giving this young actor his own comedy.
Sam Leonard (Pinkston) is the new kid at his high school. Cursed with loving parents, good grades, and a lack of height, Sam is immediately bullied by his classmates, with the exception of Annie (Kate Mara, "We Are Marshall"), who takes a shine to the nerd. Convinced he needs to lie about his life to be accepted by his peers, Sam goes on a tear trying to build himself up as a winner. To both his horror and delight, Sam's lies start coming true due to obscure magical reasons, leaving the teenager with a decision: live the life he's always wanted or be truthful to himself.
Pinkston's biggest credit to date is a reoccurring role on Ashton Kutcher's tail-chasing "Punk'd." Forgive me if I hesitate to acknowledge anything coming from that show as worthy of their own starring vehicle, since it's the same program that introduced Dax Shepard to all of us. Pinkston is not as aggressive a social miscalculation as Shepard is, but the two share one common trait: they're both comedians with no passion for comedy.
"Full of It" is a strange motion picture, not in the way it depicts high school in formulaic ways or the feeble jokes themselves, but in the fashion director Christian Charles crafts this film. I haven't seen a comedy overtly photographed like "Full of It" in a long time, and there's a good reason for it: it completely saps the liveliness from the gags.
Working with cinematographer Kramer Morgenthau, Charles orders every scene to resemble something out of Tony Scott's "Revenge" period of the early 90s. The lighting in "Full of It' is unbearable and self-conscious to a point of absurdity. This is a low-budget teen comedy, but Charles is convinced it's up to him to save the picture with his laboriously detailed shots, not casting or screenwriting (the story is credited to four writers, if you can believe it). The wildly inappropriate cinematography detracts from the overall silly mood of the film, placing emphasis on the technical side of the filmmaking when every inch of this misfire should be focusing on whatever humanity it can grasp in this empty fishing pond.
"Full of It" is a fun-sized version of "Liar, Liar" without the antic spirit or a comedy juggernaut in the lead role. Pinkston, looking like an emo Danny Partridge, possesses what I could decipher as one single facial expression (confusion, with a dash of insincere smirk), and the script's ideas for Sam's dreams-come-true are limited to parched inventions such as enormous genital size and the flirtations of the "hot" teacher (a miscast Teri Polo). Laughing yet?
"Full of It" is more a lame oddity rather than a punch in the face, but a bad movie is still a bad movie. I didn't know who Ryan Pinkston was before I watched "Full of It," and now I pray to the cinema gods I will never have to wince through another one of his insufferable movies again.
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