keith poulson

Somebody Up There Likes Me is a SXSW film. I kind of feel like that says everything about it. It is a totally enjoyable little indie film about a man’s journey through life. It is amazing in that while it has all the little indie quirks I love so much it also has a plot. It may be just a little too weird for the common movie goer but if they can get over that they will be rewarded. The acting is great, aka the writing is great. I love this movie.

I watched this movie on Netflix DVD.

4 out of 5 Blondies

  • 2012
  • Comedy, Drama

This comic fable chronicles 35 years in the lives of good friends Sal and Max — including a love triangle with Lyla, the woman they both adore.

Here’s what I thought: This film is of a special kind of humor. It didn’t exactly make me laugh but it definitely made me smile. It was witty and kept me wondering the whole time. The human relationships were almost alien, but it was great how it came full circle in the end. Overall interesting movie. I suggest sticking through it to the end of the movie. You won’t be disappointed.

Somebody Up There Likes Me (Bob Byington, 2012) 3/5

As some of you might know, I’m a fan of Bob Byington. I’ve recommended his two earlier films in one of my previous posts. His new film, unfortunately, is not one that I would recommend. I might’ve missed something or misunderstood the film but to me, it just had like a straight up nihilistic message. Which to be fair, I guess you could say is original, or even courageous? But it’s terribly unnecessary. Even when it’s funny. I hope I misunderstood it but if I didn’t and that’s really what the filmmaker wanted to say, then it’s a shame and I’m disappointed. 


Bob Byington, Somebody Up There Likes Me (2012).

This movie is terrible. That I watched it at all is a testament only to my burgeoning interest in the cinematography of Sean Price Williams (he of The Color Wheel, Listen Up Philip, Frownland, etc.), but even his camerawork and this beautiful cat cannot unturd a turd.


Somebody Up There Likes Me is a quirky comedy about the charmed life of one Max Youngman (Keith Poulson), who appears to be blessed with a dry sense of irony, accidental good fortune, and eternal youth. Over a period of three plus decades, Max, his best friend Sal (Nick Offerman) and his second wife Lyla (Jess Weixler) stumble through infidelities, divorce, therapy, and poverty in a breezy series of surreal jumps forward in time.

Featuring an original score from Vampire Weekend’’s Chris Baio, animated sequences from Bob Sabiston (A Scanner Darkly), produced by Offerman and directed by cult auteur Bob Byington (Harmony & Me), Somebody Up There Likes Me is a charming, droll, and utterly original reflection on the cycle of life.

Somebody Up There Likes Me opens at the Music Box on Friday, March 8th, and runs through at least Thursday, March 14th. These four special screenings with Nick Offerman will be the only screenings with advanced ticket sales.”

After seeing this film last year, I highly recommend it as a look at the contemporary for fans of Wes Anderson (it was shot in Austin, TX) or Richard Ayoade’s SUBMARINE (2010).

Text courtesy of Music Box Theatre, Chicago.

Somebody Up There Likes Me (2012)

Director: Bob Byington
Starring: Nick Offerman, Keith Poulson, Jess Weixler
IMDb Rating: 5.8/10

A comedy about a man, his best friend, and the woman they both adore watching their lives fly by. (Courtesy of IMDb)

C - 7/10 - I really did like how they put this film together. It is an indie film, so it’s not exactly IMAX quality, but it wasn’t shot with your grandma’s super 8 either. (Not that I have anything against 8mm shooting. I FUCKING LOVE VINTAGE CAMERA FILMS.) The angles and scenes kept my attention, and there is a bit of whimsy that I can’t quite put my finger on that I absolutely adore about this kitchy film.

P - 7/10 - I felt that the overall flow of this film was a little slow, but it did have the merits that it covers nearly a half century of a man’s life. That’s a lot to pack into 76 minutes. It has a great circular story line that I love and that leaves little nuggets for you to elaborate on and entice you to think of what may have happened to these characters after the story has ‘ended’. All the performances were spectacular as per expected, although I felt Poulson failed to capture the mediocrity of his character and it felt a little flat. It could have been intentional to display the almost subdued and empathetic character. Solid all the way around.

O - 7/10 - We all know I LOVE Nick Offerman and everything about him, and that I think everything he touches is gold, so I did rate this film fairly high. I did thoroughly enjoy it, and have watched it several times. It’s something I could easily come back to time and time again and enjoy the same every time. It’s a very intriguing display of a messy life and even messier friendships, and the fact that it covers such a grand span of time was rather impressive to me. It is a bit slow paced, so I wouldn’t recommend it to my action lovers, but it is indeed enjoyable.

A very commendable 7/10 for this flick. Watch it in your jammies with a cup of tea and your BFF on a rainy day.