Review: Assisted Living (2009)

Assisted Living (2009)

Rating: R

Genre: Comedy

Length: 8 five minute episodes

Director: David J. Miller

Written By: David J. Miller, Dustin White

Starring: Dustin White, Grace McPhillips and Bob Farster

Budget: Low Indie?

Streams For Free: popcornflix.com



Dustin’s girlfriend just kicked him out, and why not? He’s a feckless, boorish, unemployed ginger with a haircut that looks like it was administered by a near sighted landscaper. Who wants that hanging around?

Dustin shows up on his sister, Sarah’s doorstep. She blocks the door. “Remember that scene in the Odd Couple where Oscar shows up on Felix’s doorstep?” Dustin asks. If this is The Odd Couple, then Dustin is the weird, gross, ginger neighbor. Sarah is not amused, but she lets him stay. Let the ball breaking begin!

The very next morning Dustin walks in on Sarah taking a pee. He has full morning wood. Rather than apologize, he says, “gross” and asks her how long she is going to take. She takes the opportunity to remind him how incredibly disgusting he is, and “oh, my god, you have an erection.” This pretty much sums up their relationship.

Sarah tells Dustin to get a job. Instead, he gets a cat. He rides his bicycle back from the pet store with a cute little cage on the handlebars. He hits the curb and dumps the poor creature right in the bushes. Bwaaaa ha ha ha ha! Call me warped, but I got a belly laugh out of that one. It’s actually a Guinea Pig, so it’s ok. Everyone knows they are incapable of feeling pain. That’s why they use them in medical experiments. But I digress.

Sarah has a date and she wants Dustin gone for the night. G-O-N-E. But of course, when she shows up with her beau, Dustin is passed out on her couch. Sarah’s date is creeped out. Sarah tries to clear Dustin out, but he takes the opportunity to point out that he stole the batteries out of Sarah’s vibrator for the remote. He gestures with the vibrator. Sarah’s date makes a quick exit and Sarah goes ape shit, tossing Dustin out in the street again.

Dustin meets a friendly homeless guy, Bob, who teaches him the ropes of being out of doors. We are treated to fascinating musings by Dustin on what led him to this state. He remembers the time his girlfriend’s black cousin came to visit. “I can’t really prove they were cousins,” he ponders, “but why did they have to sleep in the same bed? She said it’s what they did as kids. I’m an idiot.” Yes, Dustin. You are. And I love you for it.

Assisted Living is crass, base, and lewd. My kind of humor! At his best, Dustin (Dustin White) is like a ¬†ginger, indie film version Danny McBride. He has a gift for making ridiculous, autobiographical monologues that lead no where and leave the other characters, and us, massively uncomfortable. He walks up to a beautiful young girl on the beach and sits right next to her. “I’m a comedian,” he starts in. “Want me to put lotion on your back? Give me a minute.” The girl looks around for help. “The lotion is my semen,” Dustin explains. “I don’t always work blue,” he adds for good measure. Fortunately the young girl’s boyfriend shows up and threatens to bash Dustin’s ginger, comedian head in. “I have aids!” Dustin yells, a bit of advice he picked up from the homeless guy Bob for when you’re about to get your ass kicked.

Assisted Living is harried by the usual indie bugaboos: poor sound, inconsistent acting, editing and directing, and general unevenness. Not all the episodes are gems. But some are. When they make more I shall watch them, because I have to see what Dustin will say next to impale himself. He wasn’t that likable at first, but he grew on me.

What Assisted Living does really well is immersing us in this warped little world in an instant, giving us the punchline or cringe moment, and moving right along to the next little nugget of doucheyness. Is it on par with Eastbound And Down? Of course not. But if you like cringe humor you might want to set aside the five minutes and enjoy watching Dustin implode in an excruciating fit of verbal foot-shooting. Try episode five or eight and you’ll see what I mean. Enjoy.

My Douchey Rating:

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