Awful Nice

Estranged brothers Jim and Dave must travel to Branson together when their father dies and leaves them the lake home. A series of hilarious mishaps and costly misadventures follow as they attempt to restore the house and rebuild their relationship.


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  • ★★★★½ review by Derek Diercksmeier on Letterboxd

    This film had my interest for two reasons.

    First of all, it stars James Pumphrey, who is one of my favorite comedic actors.

    Also, this was filmed in my hometown of Branson, Missouri.

    It's quite exciting to see a film shot in locations that are part of my everyday life.

    This film feels alive and authentic, while also being consistently hilarious.

    "Awful Nice" tells the story of two brothers and their often tumultuous relationship.

    The performances of Pumphrey and Rennie are terrific, and Christoper Meloni is unrecognizable in a strong supporting role.

    Every moment is a delight.

    The film is now available on DVD, iTunes and streaming on Netflix.

    I highly recommend it!

  • ★★★★½ review by Nick Sayers on Letterboxd

    How was this flick not on a wide release? Could be the funniest film I've seen in 10 years. It consistently killed me with laughter. I actually missed things because I was laughing so hard. The relationship of the brothers hinges on perfection and the dialogue is snappy with a consistent edge of hilarity. Everyone should run to their Netflix consumption device and watch this movie.

  • ★★★★★ review by Ed on Letterboxd

    This movie is incredibly funny. Like a lost comedy from the early 90's. I don't get why it has so many poor ratings. I laughed from start to finish.

  • ★★★★★ review by Sami on Letterboxd

    Probably the funniest movie I've watched in a year or two. Not sure how this hasn't become a sleeper hit like Foot Fist Way or Wet Hot yet.

  • ★★★★ review by Matt Shiverdecker on Letterboxd

    At this year’s SXSW, the city of Branson, Missouri is the backdrop of two very different films. We Always Talk To Strangers is a competition film in the documentary category and it tells the story of Branson as a tourist destination. In Todd Sklar’s wonderfully hysterical Awful Nice, it’s where two estranged brothers have to return to pick up their inheritance after the death of their father.

    Jim (James Pumphrey) is a seemingly successful professor & author who has settled down and started a family. His brother Dave (Alex Rennie, who co-wrote the film) just can’t seem to get his life together. When we meet him, he’s fully nude and passed out drunk in a teepee on an Indian reservation. Jim picks him up for their father’s funeral in Kansas City where they find out they are being willed the family’s lake house in Branson. There are immediate plans to flip the house and split the check, but the two brothers are so competitive that can barely stay in the same vehicle together without killing each other.

    Upon arrival at the lake house, all bets are immediately off. It’s in an incredible state of disrepair and while he never comes clean, it appears as though Dave has been there to party in recent months. It’s also infested with wasps and there’s a skunk living in the bathroom. When they go in to town to have a meeting with their father’s former business partner (played by an unrecognizable Christopher Meloni), he suggests that they hire some contractors and get the place cleaned up fast. Dave decides that the two brothers should fix the house up themselves and that prospect pushes the film into its second act.

    There is a frenetic energy to the slapstick comedy on display that is infectious - the theater roared with laughter frequently. Let’s face it, many films in a festival setting are so serious that you don’t often get the chance to see something that is actually funny. I wouldn’t be surprised if this turns out to be a star-making performance for Rennie when the movie gets picked up for distribution. If Dave was truly your brother, he probably wouldn’t be so funny, but on film, the character hits all the right notes. One of only eight films in the narrative competition this year, the comedy in Awful Nice is a little front loaded, but it provides so many laughs that you won’t mind.

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