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" This is a state-of-the-art, morphogenetic template "
— [?] as some scientist, Face/Off

MRQE Top Critic

The East

The East emerges as an exciting piece of filmmaking from the independent scene’s hott —Matt Anderson (review...)

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A recent fan of Reno 911, I was happy to review Closing Escrow: The Movie. Written, directed, and edited by Armen Kaprelian, the film stars both Wendy McLendon-Covey and Cedric Yarbrough from Reno. (That’s a pretty thin reason to watch a movie, admittedly, but I do have a pretty serious movie habit.)

The movie is a mockumentary about home buyers. It follows three couples through their quest to find their own American dream. McLendon-Covey plays the agent searching supposedly on behalf of the well-to-do urban lawyers (Yarbrough and April Barnett — no kids), although she’s mostly interested in the houses she likes.

Couple 2 needs more space. They rent storage lockers for their spare furniture, exercise equipment, and pets. In front of the camera, the wife seems like a serious animal lover, but somehow she has access to a lot of dead rabbits — they’re good for sending messages. Their unconventional agent thinks that the less desirable a home is, the better the price, and he’s not above making homes-for-sale, less desirable.

The last couple suffers from realty envy. These modern-day dorks love to play Taboo and entertain guests (which hits a little too close to home for this film critic-cum-dork). They hire their neighbor, a realtor, to find the perfect home for them, which would be something almost exactly like what the realtor and his wife currently have.

The laughs are steady, if not very loud. Rather than simply stringing a series of jokes together, the movie has a decent shape, moving from order to chaos, and back again. The relationship between agent and potential home buyer changes over the course. We start out rooting for the buyers, maybe thinking that the agents are pushy and hyperbolic. But soon enough our loyalties shift as the buyers string along the agents, taxing their time and energy, spending more and more time looking for tinier and tinier details in the perfect home.

A friend summed it up well when he said that the movie didn’t necessarily knock it out of the park, but that it wasn’t half bad for a cheap little mockumentary. If you’re in the market for something in the vicinity of Reno, Nevada, Closing Escrow may be just the property for you.