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AUSTIN CHRONICLE
March 16, 2002
by Marc Savlov
For South By SouthWest It begins, as do so many things in life, with a man, in this case Martin Flam, returning to his workplace after an extended absence brought on by mental unrest. A suicide attempt, actually, but when we first spot "Marty," he's on his knees in a bathroom, toweling up huge swaths of gore off the tiled floor. This may sound like the perfect setup for a murder mystery, of sorts, but the very funny, seriously twisted Martin & Orloff is so unlike any film you've ever seen it defies comparison to anything but its birthplace, the comedic improv troupe known as The Upright Citizens Brigade. Part surrealist manifesto, part Dada headtrip, and "all fun," their show may be off the air, but this, the group's feature debut, is off its rockers. When Martin seeks therapy to treat his habitual depression, he hooks up with Dr. Orloff, a shrink with dubious credentials and an even more malleable notion of sanity. Hijinks, madcap wackiness, and laughs galore ensue, as do several cameos from the likes of indie comedy queen Janeane Garofalo and former Conan O'Brien sidekick Andy Richter. Martin & Orloff is psychotronic culture-jamming at its best, a non-stop parade of "I didn't just see that, did I?" that manages to recall both the comedic chaos theory of the Marx Brother and watching the Python troupe while on a supremely mind-warping weekend LSD bender. Fun for the whole family (if your family name is Madness). TIMEOUT NY
by Darren D'Addario When marketing executive Martin Flamm (Roberts) comes home from the hospital after a failed suicide attempt, he doesn't have supportive relatives to care for him. There's no girlfriend or buddy to ask why he slit his wrists. No member of the clergy to offer sage counsel. What he has waiting for him, in very large quantities, is dried blood. Do you have any idea how hard it is to get dried blood off of bathroom ceramic tile? He puts some elbow grease behind a large sponge, but, jeez, it's gonna take forever! There you have the first sick, ballsy joke in this disgracefully funny film scripted by several members of the Upright Citizens Brigade comedy troupe. Martin does soon turn to someone for help, but unfortunately it's Dr. Orloff (Walsh), a nutjob Manhattan psychiatrist. The crude, irresponsible shrink introduces his fragile patient to strippers, a violent Desert Storm vet (Jon Benjamin) who likes to crap in lavatory sinks and some truly bad dinner theater. Somehow, Orloff believes that this shock therapy will make Martin better. Or maybe the jackass doctor is just screwing with him. Blume's directorial debut is full of guilty laughs courtesy of the uncomfortable doctor-patient relationship. But it deflates whenever it becomes a forced corporate parody of Martin's absurd workplace. The rest of his life definitely needed to play straight man to his bizarre outings with Orloff. Still, even if 50 percent of the film misfires, Martin & Orloff is more than half of a funny movie: It's half of a very funny one. THE PORTLAND MERCURY
by Katie Shimer Martin and Orloff: Not a compelling title for a comedy, but a hilarious, gut-busting laugh-a-thon nonetheless. Staffed with the members of sketch comedy troupe The Upright Citizens Brigade, this film puts the Adam Sandler franchise--and every comedy I've seen in the last two years--to shame. First, let me say that Martin & Orloff is utterly bizarre. The story of a suicidal costume designer and his unconventional therapist, the movie follows the duo on a few days of misadventures, from Martin's first session with Dr. Orloff to the realization that eventually helps cure him of his depression. Martin works for a cutthroat marketing company aptly called "Marketing Force." His boss is a jackass money-grubber who will compromise anything to get business from a huge, corrupt Chinese food manufacturer. Martin has serious issues with bending the rules in order to please the Chinese--namely rules about unsafe costumes--but is too frightened of losing his job to stand up to his boss. Dr. Orloff, on the other hand, doesn't take shit from anyone. He's his own boss and has fun all the time--smoking weed, dating a hot stripper, playing softball, eating hotdogs--and he befriends the uptight Martin immediately, showing him the good life. Martin, being a complete pussy, is appalled by Orloff's behavior, which makes for a hysterical straight man vs. funny guy routine. Revealing any of the jokes in Martin & Orloff would ruin them, but trust me, there's a ton of funny shit: physical comedy, one liners, social commentary, etc. And worry not: David Cross and Janeane Garofalo both make appearances. At the end, the film devolves in an attempt at a big, stupid finale--but it doesn't matter. From the opening scene, Martin & Orloff managed to make me laugh my ass off, and I haven't done that since six months ago when I saw some guy fall off his bike while holding a bag of groceries. Comedy doesn't get much better than that.

NEWARK STAR-LEDGER
Nov. 10, 2003
by Stephen Witty They used to call the best of them the "Not Ready for Prime-Time Players." The idea was that this new generation of comics was strictly after-hours, and uninterested in playing it safe. Lately, though, it seems as if the most dangerous thing about young TV comics has been their furious stampede toward clichéd characters, dumb sitcoms and movie spinoffs. The Uptight Citizens Brigade, however, has chosen to stay risky, doing deliberate, off-the-wall skits on Comedy Central and on the New York stage. Their idea of humor is to push something right to the edge -- and then let it topple over. Their new movie, "Martin & Orloff," demonstrates the loose, improv-based aesthetic. Ian Roberts plays Martin, a marketing exec and suicide survivor, cleaning up his bathroom after a recent failed wrist-slashing; Matt Walsh plays Dr. Orloff, the psychiatrist determined to help Martin "heal." Unfortunately, Orloff's unusual therapy includes rap sessions, softball practice (his team is called the Psychlones) and trips to strip clubs; his ever-increasing entourage grows to include a stripper, a battle -crazed Army vet, and a violently jealous pro-football player. The movie takes frequent detours into the silly, surreal and satirical (including a few shots at Hong Kong action movies). Walsh and Roberts play it all properly straight, while Brigade fans and friends like Tina Fey, Janeane Garofalo and Andy Richter turn up for quick, one-joke guest stints. Director Lawrence Blume keeps things moving, and the picture's high-end digital video photography is surprisingly polished. The medium's speed and low cast obviously allowed for fast set-ups and extra takes, an advantage more indie comedies should take advantage of. "Martin & Orloff" is all seriously unhinged, of course, and often in precarious taste -- Martin's latest client in a Chinese fast-food company, leading to endless racial stereotypes of angry Asians. Quite a bit of the movie falls flat. But that's the thing about taking gambles -- sometimes they don't work and sometimes they do. Admitted, they're a dangerous thing to attempt. But when was a comedy that consistently played it safe ever really funny? IGN
October 31, 2005 In the late nineties there was a great sketch-comedy show on Comedy Central called Upright Citizens Brigade. Based on the shows and sketches coming out of the New York-based Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre, the show featured some of the most bizarre comedy to ever see the light of day. And while the show only lasted three seasons, and the four cast members went their separate ways (most notably Amy Poehler going to Saturday Night Live), the UCB team still had time to make a movie. The end result, Martin & Orloff, is a film filled with celebrity cameos, inside jokes, and amazingly bizarre humor. And although this indie-film was released over three years ago in limited run, Anchor Bay has finally done comedy fans a favor and released this great comedy on DVD. Martin Flam (Ian Roberts) just tried to kill himself. After some stressful events surrounding his job as a corporate costume designer, he slit his wrists and ended up in an insane asylum. Deciding that he can't face his life alone, Martin decides to enter therapy with Dr. Eric Orloff (Matt Walsh). Unfortunately for Martin, Dr. Orloff is himself a little crazy. Dragging Martin around the city, Orloff seems more concerned with ruining Martin's professional and personal life more than he is with helping his depression. Meanwhile, Martin falls for a beautiful stripper (Amy Poehler), tries to keep a war-vet from sleeping with his elderly mother, and attempts to find a way to save three girl scouts dressed as spare ribs. Much like Anchorman and its ilk, Martin & Orloff is more concerned with the gags than the plot. To go into all the weird twists and turns would really ruin fun of the movie. The film keeps adding characters and situations and ideas that should really weigh it down, but actually keep it fresh and funny throughout. You'd think that suddenly adding oddities such as an obese football star with massive genitals would slow the movie down or make it feel gimmicky. Instead, the film just becomes more and more insane. Cameos are also a highlight of the film. Fortunately, the film uses comedian cameos to enhance the comedy of the film rather than to show off the filmmakers' famous friends. For example, in one scene Jeneane Garofalo, Tina Fey, and Rachel Dratch play three ladies in a really bad play. While most movies would flaunt the cameo, the filmmakers put the three comediennes in wigs and makeup, allowing a subtler and funnier performance from them. Then again, a lot of comedy fans might be turned off by the stupid humor. I'm talking jokes about pooping in sinks and hitting on elderly women. The Wes Anderson crowd might look down on the humor in this film as cheap or easy. It's a fair argument; the movie isn't for everyone. The movie also seriously mocks mental illness and suicide, so people with sensitivity in those areas might also be turned off by the content of the film. But for people who can take a joke and don't mind weirder humor will definitely love this film. Score: 8 out of 10 CHICAGO SUN-TIMES
Jan. 16, 2004
by Darel Jevens Since leaving for Manhattan eight years ago, Ian Roberts and Matt Walsh have been sprinkling their Chicago-learned improv skills all over show business. Their series "Upright Citizens Brigade" confused and amused people for three seasons on Comedy Central. Their theater of the same name preaches the gospel according to Del Close to hundreds of New York actors. And they've even landed a few commercials and movies, Robert bossing around cheerleaders in "Bring It On," Walsh managing to pop up in both the season's sweetest Christmas movie ("Elf") and its sickest ("Bad Santa"). But when it comes to the big screen, the duo's true passion is "Martin & Orloff," a no-budget comedy they wrote (with Roberts' wife, Katie) and shot over 27 days a few years ago. After a few film festival showings, the project is crawling across the country and arrives today for a weeklong run at the Music Box. "Martin & Orloff" has a tone instantly familiar to viewers of the "UCB" TV show, a collection of intertwined sketches that tended to be edgy without turning crass, ridiculous but not inscrutable, and dirty while just short of cheap. The alarming first scene finds Martin Flam (Roberts, a handsome guy looking wan and withered here) alone in his apartment, trudging to the bathroom to wipe up huge, awful, crimson splashes of his own blood. It seems he'd tried to slit his wrists a while back and has just returned from the institutionalization that followed. "I'm really glad you didn't kill yourself," says the well-meaning receptionist at work. This guy needs good psychiatric help. But instead he's sent to Dr. Orloff (Walsh), a blowhard jerk who works out of a fire station. A couple awkward minutes into their first session, Orloff suddenly remembers ("My mind is an idiot!") that he has a more pressing engagement: a softball game. So he drags Martin along, and thus begins the patient's immersion into the shrink's perverse existence. Over the next day or two, the doc treats Martin to encounters with a grotesquely burned hot-dog vendor, a strip club renowned for its sweet-potato pie, a bad play mocking suicidal people at (inside joke alert) the Candlelight Dinner Playhouse and a pal (Jon Benjamin) whose habit of using sinks as toilets Orloff explains away with, "He fought in Desert Storm." As Orloff insists they're becoming friends, Martin protests, "This has been more like a kidnapping!" But a few times Martin has the chance to run away, and he opts not to. The movie is full of funny people in supporting roles, including fellow UCB members Amy Poehler as a nut rebounding from a relationship with a well-endowed, 500-pound lineman (wrestler Sal Valente) and Matt Besser as Martin's ruthless boss. David Cross, Andy Richter, Janeane Garofalo, Rachel Dratch and Tina Fey stop by. And Kim Raver of "Third Watch" lightens up as a stripper/psychiatric student Orloff romances by alternately begging for sex and grousing about her vestigial anthropological nesting instincts. "Martin & Orloff" doesn't have anything resembling a point, or a heart. It's just a carefully thought out attempt to get laughs by any means possible -- parody, absurdity, gratuitous use of strobe light. It works more often than not. By the time the end nears, and you're watching a hypnotized mental patient battle kung-fu henchmen as Girl Scouts in sparerib costumes try to cross a rickety bridge overhead, you're delighted to understand exactly how you got there. And that's accomplishment enough.

HOLLYWOOD REPORTER
Nov. 14, 2003 by Frank Scheck Genuinely anarchic comedy is so rare in today's cinema -- "Scary Movie" and its ilk notwithstanding -- that this attempt from first-time director Lawrence Blume, written by and starring Matt Walsh, Ian Roberts and Katie Roberts of the improvisational comedy troupe Upright Citizens Brigade, is to be commended for sheer ambition. A wacky comedy involving a suicidal marketing executive and his highly irreverent shrink, "Martin & Orloff" ultimately doesn't fully succeed in its comedic aspirations, but it does offer some genuine laughs along the way. The film is playing an exclusive engagement at New York's Sunshine Cinema. Martin Flam (Ian Roberts) is the hapless exec, who has just returned to work after a stint in a mental hospital following an unsuccessful suicide attempt. As the film begins, he's vainly trying to clean dried blood from his bathroom floor. Ordered to see a psychiatrist, he unfortunately encounters Dr. Orloff (Walsh), who begins his treatment with the not-so-subtle query, "Why did you try to kill yourself?" Before the flustered Martin can respond, Orloff remembers he's late for a softball game, and drags his patient along to continue the session on the run. After an ineffective stint as the game's umpire, Martin finds himself in a series of misadventures with his self-involved shrink as well as a variety of bizarre characters, including Orloff's sexually withholding stripper girlfriend (Katie Roberts) a Desert Storm veteran (Jon Benjamin) who has the unfortunate habit of excreting in bathroom sinks and another stripper (Amy Poehler), whose sexual fling with Martin leads to a series of confrontations with her massive, and massively well-hung, ex-boyfriend (Matt Besser). Eventually, we learn the secret behind Martin's suicide attempt, involving the accidental death of an actor whom he put in an egg roll costume unfortunately lacking eyeholes. Various comedy stars provide cameos, including Tina Fey and Janeane Garofalo, with the most amusing contributions coming from Andy Richter as a nasty dinner theater host and David Cross as a fey director. Highly uneven in its scattershot gags and less-than-assured direction, the film nonetheless provides a fairly steady series of laughs thanks to the fully committed performances by the two stars and the sheer brazenness of its humor. Instead of relying on cheap parody for its humor, "Martin & Orloff" at least tries to forge fresh comedic ground. DETROIT FREE PRESS
May 14, 2004
by John Monaghan "Martin & Orloff" is one of the few films you could call wildly uneven and the filmmakers would still consider it a compliment. This madcap Manhattan comedy, made on a shoestring, links a suicidal ad exec with an ADD-addled psychiatrist whose methods go beyond bizarre. There are no introductions. No getting-to-know-you preamble. "So why did you try to kill yourself?" Orloff (Matt Walsh) asks button-down Martin (Ian Roberts), and it's only one of a dozen reasons for the new patient to feel ill at ease. When Martin hesitates, Orloff gets antsy. He looks lazily around the office, nearly sets the place on fire with his cigar, and then notices the time. He's got to be at a softball game in 15 minutes, but Martin can come along and finish his session on the way. The game doesn't have an umpire, so Martin is enlisted. He's lousy at the job, but calls balls and strikes with surprising enthusiasm. It's only after calling Orloff out at the plate that Martin gets in trouble. Coerced into changing his call, he ends up in the middle of a riot and then in jail. Where the movie goes from here is anybody's guess, including that of director Lawrence Blume, who seems to be trying to keep up with a movie that continuously spins out of control. While the film enlists familiar faces like Andy Richter, Tina Fey and Janeane Garofalo in cameo roles, the movie belongs to Roberts and Walsh, founding members of Comedy Central's Upright Citizens Brigade. (Walsh has also logged time with Conan O'Brien and "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.") They obviously have a great time with the kind of breakneck absurdist comedy that might have died with the Marx Bros. That "Martin & Orloff" can't really sustain this level of energy has more to do with the laws of physics than the deficiencies of the tossed-salad script. It's credited to the actors and Roberts' wife Katie, though you sense that everyone -- including the key grip -- had a hand in it. Even when you groan at the more cornball elements, the movie has more genuine laughs than the dozen or so Hollywood comedies Ben Stiller has already made this decade. TV GUIDE ONLINE
Ken Fox It started with an interesting challenge between friends: Take an image that's the furthest thing from funny and spin it into a comedy. Matt Walsh and Ian Roberts — founding members of the celebrated New York City improv troupe Upright Citizens Brigade and, with Katie Roberts, the writers and stars of this unconventional buddy comedy — figured the sight of a failed suicide mopping up his own blood from a bathroom floor would be an excellent place to start. Tragic? No question. Funny? For the most part, yes. Martin Flam (Roberts), who designs character costumes for a Manhattan marketing firm's food industry clients, is considered one of the best funny-character man in the business, but he decides to end it after a young actor wearing one of Martin's "China Chef" egg roll suits accidentally falls into the Hudson River and drowns. Martin survives, and — after cleaning up all the blood from his bathroom floor — returns back to the office to begin work on an equally dangerous China Chef campaign, only this time it's spareribs. To help him cope, Martin makes an appointment with psychiatrist Dr. Orloff (Walsh) — an homage to the fiendish physician in Jess Franco 1961 gorefest THE HORRIBLE DR. ORLOFF, perhaps? — who, even though he promises to target Martin's destructive behavior patterns and modify them, doesn't seem particularly interested in helping at all. During their very first session together, Orloff, a whirling dervish of chaos with a severe attention deficit disorder, scarfs down his lunch, puffs on a cigar then interrupts Martin mid-sentence to race uptown for a softball game. He insists Martin come with him, and thus begins a psychotic chain of events that finds Martin arrested, released, paired off with an amorous stripper (Amy Poehler), repeatedly whacked in the cajones by a crazed Gulf War vet (Matt Besser), and eventually scraping up the courage to just say "no!" to potentially deadly sparerib costumes. It's pretty clear that much of the script emerged from a series of improv sketches: It's full of inspired yuks and narrative lapses. The growing friendship between Martin and the apparently insane Orloff is a little tough to swallow — a serious drawback in a buddy comedy — and more importantly, Orloff never really coalesces into a coherent character. But while the whole may not be as good as its parts, the parts — often studded with comedian cameos — can be very funny. There a hilarious parody of Steel Magnolias that stars Janeane Garofalo and SNL's Tina Fey and Rachel Dratch; Andy Richter appears as an unctuous dinner-theater maitre d'; and the suspenseful climax features a collapsing rope bridge, three girl scouts dressed as four-foot high spareribs, a flying sweet potato pie and an enormous penis. What more do you want out of a comedy?
EFILM CRITIC
Nov. 13, 2003
By Scott Weinberg Sketch comedy is a difficult beast. It is by its own nature an episodic affair, which means you need a lot of solid ideas bouncing around to keep an audience entertained. This explains how Monty Python's Flying Circus is some of the finest comedy ever made, as well as how each successive season of Saturday Night Live grows more maddeningly inconsistent with each passing year. It's not just about comedy; it's about a LOT of good comedy. The Upright Citizen's Brigade is a sketch comedy troupe that I know virtually nothing about. I do know that there was a show on Comedy Central, but since I don't get that channel I can't really comment on how funny it is. What I do know is that if Martin & Orloff is any indication of how these arcane "Upright Citizens" ply their comedy wares, their other proejcts may indeed be worth searching out. (Note: Though Martin & Orloff features the comedy stylings of several of the Brigade's founding members, the film is otherwise unrelated to the television series...though fans of one should certainly enjoy the other.) "How'd you get my car?" "I hotwired it." "Aw, don't hotwire my car!" "Fuck you, you're not my dad." Martin & Orloff is far from a brilliant piece of cinema, but it is a generally successful series of barely-connected sketch pieces, all of which deal with the relationship between suicide-failer Martin Flam and his bizarre new shrink, Dr. Eric Orloff...many of which are very funny indeed. The plot basically follows the two knuckleheads over the course of two days as Martin yearns for a simple "session" with his wacky new therapist. There's also a lot of attention paid to a subplot involving Martin's strained work environment that culminates with three children dressed up as spare-ribs who must rely on a hulking man's massive weiner to save them from a death by dipping sauce. Like I said, wild stuff. If the movie fails to stand up as much of a cohesive whole, at least there are several isolated bits that earn big, hearty laughs. "Hey Keith, do you mind if we have a session?" "Meh. I don't care if you guys fuck each other in the ass." The movie clocks in at around the same length as a regular episode of Saturday Night Live, only it's a lot more consistent with the chuckles. An early sequence involving Martin's introduction to softball is genuinely hilarious, a running gag about one character's prediliction for defecating in people's sinks works surprisingly well, while the principals deliver most of their banter in witty, droll and well-timed bursts. It's obvious that these guys are serious about their comedy. "This is NOT our session. My session was at 12:00 this afternoon!" "Oh, I'm sorry I had a softball game!" You'll find a few familiar faces popping in and out, such as Amy Poehler, Andy Richter, Janeane Garofalo and the eternally-freakin'-funny David Cross. But the movie rides upon the shoulders of Ian Roberts and Matt Walsh, and the pair have their schtick honed down to a science. Visionary filmmakers they might not be, but these are two astute laff-merchants. H. Jon Benjamin also steals a few scenes with some great shock-value gags. "OK, we're going home to report the car stolen and make love." "We're not making love." "...watch me masturbate?" As a calling card for a handful of somewhat obscure (yet clearly talented) comics, Martin & Orloff works disarmingly well. Sure, it's not much more than a 'sketch after sketch' presentation, but one can forgive an aimless narrative when the gags are this unexpectedly funny. If the movie seems to run out of steam towards the finale, it can at least claim that it was consistently amusing throughout, and certainly that's impressive enough to warrant a rental. "Hey, why do they call you the hound?" "Ah, it's sort of dumb. It's short for cunthound." If that last bit made you laugh, and it sure did on my end, you'll find a lot to like in this admittedly disconnected (but still very entertaining) little schtick flick. Like even the best sketch comedy material, some stuff flies and some stuff thuds audibly. In this one, the Upright Citizens are batting a healthy .400 and that's good enough for some darn solid larfs. Boston Globe
May 7, 2004
By Wesley Morris The New York sketch comedy troupe Upright Citizens Brigade is in many ways preferable to "Saturday Night Live." The writing is tighter, more focused, and doesn't succumb to the pressures of topicality that make a lot of "SNL" seem forced, desperate, and, well, sketchy. Plus, the members of the ensemble don't feel compelled to jockey for stardom. When the UCB had a show on Comedy Central a few years back, I didn't know the lone female was Amy Poehler until she joined the current cast of "Saturday Night Live." The UCB emphasizes comedic harmony over soloists and actively experiments with the idea of sustained jokes, a feat explored by a lot of alternative comedy but rarely achieved. A few years ago, two of the UBC's founding members, Matt Walsh and Ian Roberts, along with Katie Roberts, wrote a movie called "Martin & Orloff" that opens today, and in the UCB tradition, it tries with all its might to hold together as a parade of randomness hitched to a central problem. That doesn't always work, but the film is faithful to its absurdities, sometimes hilariously so. Directed by Judy Blume's son Lawrence, the movie and its players have a natural, matter-of-fact sense of comedy. It doesn't rub our faces in its jokes. The action centers on Martin Flam (Ian Roberts), who's just been released from the hospital. He makes life-size mascot costumes for businesses, and his company's last client, a Chinese restaurant, had insisted that its egg roll suit have no eyes. The actor, unable to see, fell over a railing, into the ocean, and drowned. Martin was so bereft he tried to kill himself. He visits a therapist named Dr. Orloff (Walsh), but the shrink can't focus on Martin's problems for an entire session. Instead, he drags his patient with him to a softball game, which the overdressed and non-athletic Martin is prevailed upon to ump. This is the movie's first completely funny sequence. Somehow, Martin doesn't know the difference between a strike and a ball, calling everything wrong. The sequence goes on long enough to achieve a sort of understated nonsense that erupts into a melee when the players can't believe the calls. The movie's running joke is that Dr. Orloff, a brutal narcissist, can't ever give tall, gaunt Martin enough time to add up to a complete session. He just bullies him into tagging along all over New York City, promising sessions that wind up interrupted. There's a trip to a strip club where Orloff's girlfriend (Kim Raver) works. He hooks Martin up with her friend (Poehler), and they head to a dinner theater production of something called "The Mint Julep Club," a "Steel Magnolias" backslap that stars the comedians Janeane Garofalo, Tina Fey, and Rachel Dratch and was written by a needy, effeminate man played by David Cross. That's funny, too. But the movie typically forsakes its quiet digs for freewheeling slapstick. Most of the men in the movie have anger problems, as does a female patient Dr. Orloff has hypnotized into a wild woman. (She hates her father.) But only in the last sequence, in which Martin and Dr. Orloff try to stop more actors from dying, needlessly, in an eyeless costume, does the movie go dumb and uninspired. There's a gag about a fat guy whose silhouette we see and a stale John Woo riff that's actually funnier when used in the new Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen movie. Still, you're grateful that the movie's conceits are kept mostly in check and that the comedy tries to follow a few rules. I'd rather watch "Martin & Orloff" than "Coneheads" or "A Night at the Roxbury" any day. FILM THREAT
Aug. 22, 2002
By Merle Bertrand One wouldn’t think that getting pressed into service as a softball umpire would be the most advisable form of therapy when you’ve just been released from the mental hospital after a failed suicide attempt. Then again, maybe it’s just standard practice for unorthodox psychiatrist Dr. Eric Orloff; a sort of sink or swim shock therapy that he provides for all his patients. The subject in this case is Martin Flam, a man haunted by “The Egg Roll Incident”; a tragedy from his past for which he takes the blame. Martin, you see, designs mascot costumes for an advertising firm. When the client on his last job refused to allow Martin’s giant egg roll design to have eyes because that wouldn’t be “realistic” — egg rolls, after all, don’t have eyes — the actor wearing the suit fell into a lake on a smoke break and sunk like a soggy dumpling. Now that same client is at it again as Martin struggles to get back in the saddle. Unless Martin, with Dr. Orloff’s assistance, can learn to successfully stand up for himself against his obnoxious boss and their amoral, out of his mind client, four young girl scouts pressed into service as barbecued spare rib models might meet a similarly horrific fate. Brought to us courtesy of an improv troupe known as the Upright Citizen’s Brigade and director Lawrence Blume, “Martin and Orloff” initially turns the dour field of psychiatry into an amusing, absurdist romp. Even though this film swings for the fences but doesn’t quite connect, “Martin and Orloff” is still a solid double off the wall.