How's Your News?

"Extraordinary"

How's Your News? Review


I know what you must be thinking. A film about a group of mentally disabled people on a trip across America would seem to be an odd choice for a documentary. One might be further skeptical to use those individuals to interview total strangers on the street. There's a fine line between mockery and sincerity, after all.

The success of How's Your News? lies in its cunning ability to present various slices of America through the simplistic viewpoints of five mentally disabled individuals interviewing common folks on the streets of New York, Nashville, and Las Vegas. With producers Trey Parker and Matt Stone (of South Park fame) and independent film producer John Pierson's financial backing, the movie's director Arthur Bradford takes the special summer campers at Camp Jabberwocky, loaded them up in a run-down RV with tons of camera equipment, and hit the road as a roving team of news reporters. The result is an often hilarious and engaging road-trip.

The members of the team include Ronnie Simonsen -- an avid fan of soap opera star Chad Everett and a walking dictionary of '70s TV shows -- who has cerebral palsy. Sean Costello -- a quiet, Downs Syndrome sufferer who loves the state of Texas, sports, and snow globes. Larry Perry -- a sweet fellow with severe spastic cerebral palsy who cannot communicate except with "yes" and "no" finger signs. Robert Bird -- a pet-shop employee who has a peculiar speech impediment which makes all of his words sound like gibberish. And Susan Harrington -- a blind, mentally disabled woman with a lovely singing voice and an intrepid interviewer of the most common of folks.

At first, the interviews seem a bit contrived and difficult to sit through. The images of Larry convulsing in his wheelchair and holding a microphone in his hand on the streets of New York as people pass by and pretend to ignore him is unflinching and disturbing, as if the filmmakers are sadistically setting up someone for a bad Candid Camera skit. But as the camera lingers on Larry and his attempts to communicate with someone, anyone -- the film demonstrates the discomfort of people in dealings with the disabled.

The most rewarding part of the film lies in the observations of these individuals' experiences in all of the various exploits of their travels. Scenes such as Larry joyfully banging on a player piano in Nashville and Susan signing "Respect" at one of those funky Vegas karaoke/music video shops warm the heart. How's Your News? is a raw, moving tribute to the mentally disabled and their triumphs in an often cold, self-absorbed, and self-centered place... called America.

Screened at the 24th Annual Mill Valley Film Festival.

Film at 11.



How's Your News?

Facts and Figures

Run time: 82 mins

In Theaters: Tuesday 1st January 2002

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4.5 / 5

IMDB: 7.4 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Arthur Jacobson

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Julieta Movie Review

Julieta Movie Review

Iconic Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodovar is back with another powerfully complex female-centred drama, along the...

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping Movie Review

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping Movie Review

An astute satire of the pop music business, this raucous mock-documentary is consistently hilarious from...

War Dogs Movie Review

War Dogs Movie Review

Based on a rather astounding true story, this comedy-drama centres on two stoners who landed...

Swallows and Amazons Movie Review

Swallows and Amazons Movie Review

After a number of films, TV series and stage adaptations, Arthur Ransome's beloved 1930 novel...

David Brent: Life on the Road Movie Review

David Brent: Life on the Road Movie Review

The original BBC sitcom The Office ran for 14 episodes from 2001 to 2003, and...

The Childhood of a Leader Movie Review

The Childhood of a Leader Movie Review

Bold and intelligent, this dark drama is a challenging portrait of the making of an...

Pete's Dragon Movie Review

Pete's Dragon Movie Review

This hugely enjoyable adventure is a loose remake of the 1977 Disney hit that blended...

Advertisement
The Shallows Movie Review

The Shallows Movie Review

With a simple premise and plenty of visual style, Spanish filmmaker Jaume Collet-Serra (Unknown) takes...

Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates Movie Review

Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates Movie Review

Watching this gross-out comedy, it's clear that the gifted cast and crew had a great...

Nerve Movie Review

Nerve Movie Review

With a premise that feels almost eerily current, this stylish thriller revolves around a phone...

The Carer Movie Review

The Carer Movie Review

Brian Cox gets the role of a lifetime in this warm comedy about living life...

Born to Be Blue Movie Review

Born to Be Blue Movie Review

Writer-director Robert Budreau takes a stylised approach to this biopic of the legendary jazz artist...

Jason Bourne Movie Review

Jason Bourne Movie Review

It's been nine years since Matt Damon and Paul Greengrass collaborated on The Bourne Ultimatum,...

The Commune [Kollektivet] Movie Review

The Commune [Kollektivet] Movie Review

Veteran Danish filmmaker Thomas Vinterberg (Festen, The Hunt) returns to a smaller homegrown story after...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.