Echoes of “Harold & Maude” resonate throughout “Crazy Jones,” a gentle comedy in which friendship between mismatched outsiders provides a gratifying outlet for both. Generally pleasing item could turn up on cable or in niche venues, and regardless will serve as a proud calling card for helmer-scribe Joe Aaron.
Aaron plays Finnegan Jones, a suicidal grave-tender suffering from Tourette’s syndrome, living with his overprotective mother (Elizabeth Ince) and preparing to turn 40. Convinced he’ll need a caretaker after she’s gone, Joe’s mother sets about seeking a prospective spouse. Her candidate — a bubbly, corpulent neighbor (Tess Borden) whose insensitivity to Finnegan’s condition only aggravates the malady — couldn’t be worse. Instead, he’s begun to bond with a quirky, precocious 12-year-old named Syd (Francesca Catalano), whose refusal to pass judgment allows Finnegan to find his own voice. The friendship never advances beyond the purely platonic, though Catalano’s Syd is a remarkably assured and fitting counterpart to Aaron’s Finnegan. Penultimate section takes things in a regrettably maudlin and vaguely predictable direction, and dialogue at times feels stiff. Still, Aaron demonstrates an eye for composition and framing that well exceeds that of most first-time filmmakers.