It’s pretty hard to fight back when you have the physical stature of a fifth grader. This is the story of Mitch (Nate Rubin) and the bullies in his high school English class. Suck it up; it’s just a part of high school, you say. Well, yes, but not when the class addresses you as “Mr. Parker.” You’re supposed to outgrow this sort of stuff as an adult, but the incessant taunts have followed Mitch all the way to the front of the classroom in the SXSW Film Festival screening of WUSS.
Clay Liford, Writer and Director of the dark comedy, WUSS, is a Dallas native, and he uses the city’s suburbs as the setting for his third feature film. Most mainstream films boast New York or Los Angeles as the backdrop, so it is pretty cool to see the word “Garland” stitched in gold on the actors’ band uniforms.
Rubin fits well into the role of English teacher Mitch Parker, which requires a hefty amount of self-deprecating surrender. He has a likeable Michael Cera quality about him, and we think Judd Apatow would agree.
Coaxed by an enticing preview, I saw indie film Tiny Furniture during one of the two weeks it played at The Angelika, and was left with a strong impression of actor Alex Karpovsky (Vice Principal Wally Combs in WUSS). Karpovsky portrays a droll YouTube star, “famous” for his highbrow witticisms. His character is the type that would be thoroughly revered by east coast undergrad active members of PETA who refuse to wear shoes and make their own shampoo. I hated him. I wanted to shake him the entire duration of the film and say, stop being so full of yourself; you only have like, 5,000 views. But that’s what good acting does to you. It gives you something to feel. A very strong character actor, Karpovsky’s energy and commanding presence lift WUSS to a professional level.
YouPlusDallas had a chance to speak with Liford and Rubin about the film; Liford slightly dizzied up on medication subsequently needed from a surprise kidney stone that surfaced the night before his screening. Yes, that is too much information, but it has to make watching the interview that much funnier. Re-live your high school drama with your current life experiences in the film WUSS.
Laura Stillo is the Arts & Entertainment Writer and Creative Social Media Producer for YouPlusDallas. Follow her on Twitter at @laurastillo.