Jesse Rosen and Anna Rizzo as Todd and Lucy in “The Wrong Todd.”
By María Margarita López
“The Wrong Todd” hit the right notes with the audience at the Arclight Theater in Culver City during the final week of the LA Film Festival. This sci-fi comedy from writer/director/editor Rob Schulbaum, and producers Anthony Ambrosino and Ric Murray, is an entertaining film with a far-out premise that is bumpy at the beginning. Once you’re buckled in “The Wrong Todd” takes you on a delightful trip.
Todd (Jesse Rosen) is set in his ways. He has no desire to go beyond his hometown of Providence, Rhode Island. So when his girlfriend, Lucy (Anna Rizzo), gets a promotion and asks him to move with her to Seattle he is anything but supportive. Lucy is torn between Todd and her career. Out of thin air, Todd’s evil twin arrives and sends him to a parallel universe without anyone missing him. The Other Todd says and does everything Lucy had only dreamed of, including agreeing to move to Seattle. She is thrilled. Only Lucy’s brother, Dave (Sean Carmichael), suspects things aren’t as they seem.
Meanwhile in a parallel universe, Other Dave, his mustachioed doppelganger, struggles to believe his down-and-out friend and eventually to help Todd open his eyes and go home.
Sci-fi and low-budget are not inherently a good combination but Schulbaum makes it work. The film is a laudable first feature effort by this first-time feature director. Themes of love and loss play well against the parallel universe construct and it has a satisfying ending. Shot in Rhode Island in twelve days, the filmmakers made the most of their meager resources. Schulbaum manages to pull off the blend of sci-fi and comedy well, writing sympathetic characters with believable story arcs and conceivable universes. Technical aspects at times were a little rough but once you’re invested in the characters and their world it’s easy to go along for the ride.
The cast works well together in engaging the audience. Notable performances include Rosen. He pulls off amusing distinctions in his portrayal of both Todd and his ruthless twin, Other Todd, who will stop at nothing to be with Lucy. Erin Rose as Lucy’s friend Abby and Carmichael shine playing off each other – particularly during an argument where more is said with her face and his mustache.
The film is a refreshing contrast to the higher octane films out there this season. It will play at film festivals across the U.S. to be announced soon.
Film Review: 'The Wrong Todd'
Reviewed at LA Film Festival, September 24, 2018.
Rob Schulbaum, Writer/Director/Editor
Anthony Ambrosino & Ric Murray, Producers
Starring Jesse Rosen, Anna Rizzo, Sean Carmichael, Derek K. Moore, Erin Rose
María Margarita López has covered arts and performances for paintthisdesert sister blog, viewfromaloft, since 2011. She is a film producer and co-founder of AjuuaEntertainment, plus consulted and produced media under her companyValorFilms since 2005. López and Fuentes have been working together on varied projects ever since they worked in the section of windowless rooms at Variety.
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