Like a rambunctiously affectionate pooch who leaves a mess and a few smiles behind, Tamar Halpern’s “Your Name Here” is a sloppy yet good-natured family comedy about two buddies trying to form a band in Los Angeles’ uber-hip Silver Lake neighborhood. With Halpern casting herself as mom to her real-life son Jordan, while lensing in her own abode, the pic’s homemade quality and easygoing manner suspend many standard criticisms. A bit of a lark after the helmer’s better “Shelf Life,” “Name” is more of a minor fest fave than anything else.Jordan and Michael (Michael McTaggart) jam in Jordan’s garage, certain their punk songs are enough on which to build a band. Their moms encourage them, a few older players (like Dawn Dunbar’s bassist) are drawn to them, and a pair of yakking “managers” (Joe Smith, Seth Kanor) try to do biz with them. Silly complications ensue, but not enough to stop the guys from landing a cool club date. The great American painter Llyn Foulkes does a lovely, goofy cameo as Jordan’s grandpa.
A Tamaroland Pictures/Brown Bag Prods. presentation. Produced by Tamar Halpern, Jennifer Maier, Elizabeth Leifer. Executive producer, Antonio Brown. Co-producers, Fran Hartshorn, Vaike Alexandra Koiv. Directed, written by Tamar Halpern.
Camera (color, DV), James Slay, Emily Topper; editors, Marina Tait, Halpern; music, Jordan Halpern, Michael McTaggart; production designer, Ryan Patterson. Reviewed on DVD, Los Angeles, Aug. 25, 2008. (In Downtown Film Festival, Los Angeles.) Running time: 82 MIN.
Jordan Halpern, Michael McTaggart, Joe Smith, Seth Kanor, Dawn Dunbar, Tamar Halpern, Henry Shead, Darren Groucutt, Llyn Foulkes, Allie Olson, Claudette McTaggart, Avery Clyde, Scot Alexander, Ryan Spahn.