The Guatemalan Handshake

Tyro helmer Todd Rohal's "The Guatemalan Handshake" intends to be an absurd comedy about a small town overflowing with eccentrics. After an exciting visual opener, pic reaches nearly unprecedented levels of annoyance and overplayed nonsense. Commercially toast, this misfire may find allies at niche fests.

With:
With: Will Oldham, Sheila Scullin, Ken Byrnes, Rich Schreiber, Ivan Dimitrov, Katy Haywood.

A frustrating example of convention-defying filmmaking that tries too hard to be different, tyro helmer Todd Rohal’s “The Guatemalan Handshake” intends to be an absurd comedy about a small town overflowing with eccentrics. After an exciting visual opener that suggests what Jacques Tati may have done with rural America, pic reaches nearly unprecedented levels of annoyance and overplayed nonsense. Commercially toast, this misfire may find allies at niche fests.

Donald (Will Oldham) goes missing, but not before he witnesses a bizarre power outage stemming from the Three Mile Island nuke plant. While his young friend Turkeylegs (Katy Haywood) narrates, a tiny electric car goes through a series of owners. Sadie (Sheila Scullin) defies her Guatemalan dad and runs in a demolition derby, and an old lady searches for her pooch. This only begins to account for pic’s cacophony of mannered nuttiness that overwhelms what could have been an imaginatively involving post-mod comedy.

The Guatemalan Handshake

Production: A Universal Artificial Limb Co. presentation in association with Brainbox Prods. Produced by Marissa Ronca, Jason Orfanon, Todd Rohal. Executive producer, Nick Panagopulos. Directed, written by Todd Rohal.

Crew: Camera (Alpha Cine color and B&W, Technicolor prints, widescreen), Richie Sherman; editor, Alan Canant; music, W. Clay, David Wingo, Gretta Cohn; production designers, Jim McNamee, Sage Rockermann. Reviewed at Slamdance Film Festival (competing), Jan. 21, 2006. Running time: 97 MIN.

With: With: Will Oldham, Sheila Scullin, Ken Byrnes, Rich Schreiber, Ivan Dimitrov, Katy Haywood.

More Film

  • Star Wars

    Japan Box Office: ‘Star Wars’ Wins Fifth Weekend

    A frustrating example of convention-defying filmmaking that tries too hard to be different, tyro helmer Todd Rohal’s “The Guatemalan Handshake” intends to be an absurd comedy about a small town overflowing with eccentrics. After an exciting visual opener that suggests what Jacques Tati may have done with rural America, pic reaches nearly unprecedented levels of […]

  • Florian Munteanu to Play Ivan Drago's

    Florian Munteanu to Play Ivan Drago's Son in 'Creed 2'

    A frustrating example of convention-defying filmmaking that tries too hard to be different, tyro helmer Todd Rohal’s “The Guatemalan Handshake” intends to be an absurd comedy about a small town overflowing with eccentrics. After an exciting visual opener that suggests what Jacques Tati may have done with rural America, pic reaches nearly unprecedented levels of […]

  • The cast and crew of "black-ish"

    NAACP Image Awards: The Complete Winners List

    A frustrating example of convention-defying filmmaking that tries too hard to be different, tyro helmer Todd Rohal’s “The Guatemalan Handshake” intends to be an absurd comedy about a small town overflowing with eccentrics. After an exciting visual opener that suggests what Jacques Tati may have done with rural America, pic reaches nearly unprecedented levels of […]

  • Virus

    Eliza Dushku's Alleged Assailant Subject of Two More Allegations of Sexual Misconduct

    A frustrating example of convention-defying filmmaking that tries too hard to be different, tyro helmer Todd Rohal’s “The Guatemalan Handshake” intends to be an absurd comedy about a small town overflowing with eccentrics. After an exciting visual opener that suggests what Jacques Tati may have done with rural America, pic reaches nearly unprecedented levels of […]

  • 'Keep the Change' Bought by Kino

    Tribeca Winner 'Keep the Change' Bought by Kino Lorber (EXCLUSIVE)

    A frustrating example of convention-defying filmmaking that tries too hard to be different, tyro helmer Todd Rohal’s “The Guatemalan Handshake” intends to be an absurd comedy about a small town overflowing with eccentrics. After an exciting visual opener that suggests what Jacques Tati may have done with rural America, pic reaches nearly unprecedented levels of […]

  • phantom Thread

    Daniel Day-Lewis' 'Phantom Thread' Scores at MLK Weekend Box Office

    A frustrating example of convention-defying filmmaking that tries too hard to be different, tyro helmer Todd Rohal’s “The Guatemalan Handshake” intends to be an absurd comedy about a small town overflowing with eccentrics. After an exciting visual opener that suggests what Jacques Tati may have done with rural America, pic reaches nearly unprecedented levels of […]

  • 'Jumanji' Box Office: Film Powers Holiday

    Box Office: 'Jumanji' Powers Solid Holiday Weekend With $35.4 Million

    A frustrating example of convention-defying filmmaking that tries too hard to be different, tyro helmer Todd Rohal’s “The Guatemalan Handshake” intends to be an absurd comedy about a small town overflowing with eccentrics. After an exciting visual opener that suggests what Jacques Tati may have done with rural America, pic reaches nearly unprecedented levels of […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content