Review: Love In Kilnerry (2019 San Diego Film Festival)

Title: Love in Kilnerry
MPAA Rating: Not Yet Rated
Director: Daniel Keith
Starring: Daniel Keith, Kathy Searl, Debargo Sanyal
Runtime: 1 hr 45 minutes

What It Is: The small town of Kilnerry gets a visit from the EPA who advises that to counter the ramifications of their current chemical pollution, the government will need to release an experimental counter chemical. The one side effect of this chemical? An increased libido. The word libido alone sends the sleepy town into a panic, and what seems to be a much-needed jumpstart who’s one opposition is the town sheriff.

What We Think: The premise is comedic, a town, dying off due to its youth leaving for better opportunities, is scared that a sex boost may destroy them. There is no doubt that Director/ Writer/ Sheriff Daniel Keith probably chuckled to himself when the idea presented in his mind. But jokes can be tricky articles for a writer, as when does a gag become worthy of an hour plus of dialogue?

It’s not necessarily the cheap homophobic jokes that lower the laughing reflex while watching or the dead pan sexual suggestions that were meant to be awkward that keep the audience from laughing. It could be argued that the theatre acting did not translate as well to film as one would hope. It was apparent long before the Mayor (Tony Triano) confirmed his prior history in the Q & A.

No, one could argue that what kills the laughtrack on Kilnerry is the expectation. The expectation that the film itself, with an idea as seemingly funny as the deconstruction of religious prudeness which suffocates a small town almost to death, could very well be par for some wonderful tongue in cheek. The expectation that a town, much like towns that dominate cultural film awakenings, could hysterically be undone simply by the mention of ‘sexual orgy’.

It was an expectation that was not met unfortunately, and the disappointment may have landed with the same brick force as the jokes.

Our Grade: D, I wanted to like this film, if nothing for the fact that the premise brings a pique of interest unlike comedies being offered en masse to today’s market. But it had the unusual quality of either excelling into a belly buster, but chose to go the way of teenage humor, and unfortunately shoot right through to cringe.

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