Starring: Joseph Baken, Jack Plotnick, Miatta Lebile, Navaris Darson, Lauren Burns
Director: Joseph Baken
Just when you thought you didn’t need a comedy-musical about a postal worker trying to solve a murder and battling with a Satanic cult, Mailman comes along and proves you right.
Phil (Baken) is a mailman who pretends that his work is artfully fulfilling but really dreams of being a writer. When Mrs McGillicuddy (Plotnick) – an old woman he delivers mail to – dies in seemingly suspicious circumstances, Phil starts to investigate, thinking that this might be a good topic for his new novel. With the help of his BFF colleague (Lebile) and her gay brother (Darson), they begin to suspect the woman’s son (also Plotnick) of the murder, alongside his flirtatious wife (Burns). But when they start to witness unusual cultish rituals being performed, it appears there is more to this than meets the eye.
This is, of course, intended to be incredibly tongue in cheek. With a drag murder victim and absurd songs about the joys of delivering mail, director and star Baken is trying very hard to amuse us. And though the initial set-up does deliver, the ludicrous narrative and later twists feel like they were plotted by an eleven year-old.
Initially, it appears that Phil is actually a refreshing character, who refuses to label his sexuality or place himself as one sexuality or another, with a recurring song - the best in the film - revolving around this. Had they carried this trait through to the credits, this would arguably be a very different review, but as his “denial” becomes the butt of several jokes and eventually gives way to “I always was gay” in the end, it feels like the writer is actually laughing at the expense of diverse sexuality. Which feels pretty damn archaic.
Mailman fails to deliver on most fronts. It’s a comedy that doesn’t raise a laugh. It’s a musical that doesn’t leave you humming a refrain. It’s silly certainly, but not in a good way. Instead, this is a frothy light film that drops like a lead balloon.
UK Release: Out now to watch on demand on Dekkoo