When a group of friends show up for one of their regular couples brunches, the disaster was supposed to be news that one of the pairs was splitting up, but that revelation is somewhat overwhelmed by the possibility that dirty bombs have been detonated nearby and they all might be facing a grim, extremely short future in the very funny black comedy It’s a Disaster. Emma (Erinn Hayes) and Pete (Blaise Miller) have invited over four other couples to partake in wine and quiche before announcing their impending divorce, but that all changes when next-door-neighbor Hal (writer-director Todd Berger) knocks on the door wearing a hazmat suit and tells them that lethal toxins might very well be on their way to their perfect little suburban community. Potentially facing the end, the friends all react in different ways, revealing secrets, panicking, or simply welcoming the end. Wacky Lexi (Rachel Boston) and her husband, the none-too-bright Buck (producer Kevin M. Brennan), want to go out having plenty of sex; chemistry teacher Hedy (America Ferrera) sees no hope while her fiancée, Shane (producer Jeff Grace), wants to battle the unknown enemy like it’s a video game; the steady Tracy (Julia Stiles) can’t believe that she might finally have found the right guy, calm history teacher Glen (David Cross); and Jenny (Laura Adkin) and Gordon (Rob McKillivray), well, they’re late as usual. Berger (The Scenesters, Don’t Eat the Baby: Adventures at Post-Katrina Mardi Gras) does a fine job establishing the characters early and letting them develop at their own pace as they all take turns considering the impact Armageddon will have on them. Cross is a riot as Glen, murmuring hysterical deadpan asides under his breath, while Ferrera holds nothing back as she concocts a grand finale. It all makes for an intimate gathering (Berger, Brennan, Miller, and Grace make up the Vacationeers comedy team, ramping up the actors’ familiarity level) that warmly welcomes the audience into the eventual madness.
TICKET GIVEAWAY: It’s a Disaster is currently available on VOD and opens April 12 at Village East Cinemas and Nitehawk Cinema in Brooklyn. On Friday night, Cross (Mr. Show, Arrested Development) will be on hand for a Q&A following the primetime screening, and Cross and Ferrera (Ugly Betty, Real Women Have Curves) will both be at Village East after the Saturday night show for a Q&A, and twi-ny has a free pair of tickets to give away for each special event. Just send your name, daytime phone number, show preference (Friday or Saturday night), and all-time-favorite end-of-the-world movie to firstname.lastname@example.org by Thursday, April 11, at 3:00 to be eligible. All entrants must be twenty-one years of age or older; two winners will be selected at random.