Hypnotherapist, heal thyself
There are a few bright spots for Dr. Ron however, namely Hugo (Horatio Sanz), the day laborer he hires to repair his crumbling home, and Lindsey (Erinn Hayes), a patient who bites her nails and who shares a possible attraction with Dr. Ron. Hugo becomes a confidant and pseudo-therapist to Dr. Ron, but their connection comes with some caveats that complicate things. It also comes with the joy that Sanz brings to the role, who displays a level of depth not usually associated with the funnyman. Hayes is as advertised, though she doesn't get much of a chance to show off her considerable comedic talent here, instead playing more of a quirky girlfriend than fans of shows like Childrens Hospital would expect from her.
Huskey is a criminally underrated comedic actor, and though somewhat unrecognizable with hair, he's still as good as ever, playing Dr. Ron as a hapless dreamer who, though possibly good at his job, struggles with reality. He denies everything that fails to fit his own vision of a happy life, whether it's his wife's unhappiness (the scenes in therapy opposite Lo Truglio are perfection) or his effectiveness at work, but particularly his own life. As a result, there's a bit of a buffoonish angle to Dr. Ron, which gets chipped away as the walls of his self-constructed reality start tumbling down. At the same time, you can easily feel for him and his losses in life, as Huskey imbues his loser with enough humanity to make him worth cheering for (or at least just pitying.)
If you're a fan of alt comedy, particularly the world of Comedy Bang! Bang!, this film is going to be a treat, with a cast overflowing with familiar names from Scott Aukerman's baby. Besides the comedians mentioned above, Dr. Ron's clientele includes Nick Kroll, Seth Morris, Natasha Leggero, Rob Huebel, Mo Gaffney and Adam Pally, all of whom make very funny cameos, while Riki Lindhome and the always delightful Parvesh Cheena pop in to steal scenes of their own. However, despite all the comedy stars involved, A Better You is not a hilarious comedy. It's more of a humorous drama, as there's a serious story at the core, and the clash of the two opposing elements has the effect of making everything feel more real (even if Dr. Ron and his hypnotherapy tapes and books are a bit cartoony.) Divorce is hardly a funny topic, but Huskey and Walsh do their best to help us laugh through the pain.
The center-balanced Dolby Digital 2.0 audio does a fine job with the film's dialogue, which, for the most part, is good and easily understood, though in outdoor scenes dialogue is a touch softer than expected. Music has a sufficient weight and enjoys separation from the voices, while moments where characters are in different areas sound like they are mixed properly. There are a few moments where sound effects can be a bit aggressive, taking over the scene, but otherwise there are no major complaints here.
The other extra is the film's trailer (1:51), which seems to have a bit of footage that didn't make it into the movie.
The Bottom Line