Same Boat (2020)

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A meshing of sci-fi and comedy really brings out some funny antics in this funny film starring and directed by Broad City’s Chris Roberti.

In the 29th Century, time travel has been deemed possible. James and Mot are such time travelers who have been tasked with one thing: kill whoever is threatening the future. In 1989, they killed off a couple who were attempting to launch what they call “reality television”. The time travelers have been tasked to now travel thirty years to 2019 and track down their latest target.

Their latest target is Lizzy, a young woman who is involved in the legal process to spread pollution worldwide. They track her to a cruise ship. However, Lizzy is going through some personal problems as she has broken up with her boyfriend, Rob, who is seen as too attached. To make matters worse, Mot cannot do her job because she ends up getting seasick onboard. James, left to fend for his own, finds Lizzy and inexplicably finds himself unable to do the job because he slowly begins to fall for her. Will James be able to complete the task at hand, or is something else in store for the time traveling assassin?

This is quite a brave film for director Chris Roberti and writer/producer Josh Itzkowitz. Why could this be considered a brave film? Because while the film is set onboard a cruise ship, the filmmakers supposedly never got permission to film there and the crew decided to go for a guerilla style filmmaking. And surprise, not only did they succeed, but the film works as a whole and here’s why.

Roberti, who also plays our protagonist James, is quite an interesting figure. He may look like the last guy someone might fall for in his genre of comedy. He has the look more of a sidekick, but in Kindergarten Cop fashion, he must face the task alone and falls for Lizzy, played with such grace and panache by Tonya Glanz. It is as if she sees James more of a rebound at first because when we are introduced to her character, she is breaking up with her boyfriend Rob, played hilariously by Evan Kaufman. Kaufman plays Rob as someone who is not only surprised but is still lovestruck and sees James as a friend until the inevitable happens, only for Rob to see the good in his new friend.

On the other hand, Julia Schonberg’s take on Pamela Reed’s Kindergarten Cop-like partner, Mot, is someone who is a rookie but at the same time trigger-happy. She wants to get the job done ASAP and even when she learns the truth about what had transpired, she still is intent on getting the mission done. And yet for a brief moment, there is a funny scene where the four (James, Lizzy, Mot, and Rob) are all in their room and in an effort to quell the tensions between all four decide to order breakfast and Rob doing his best Groucho Mark-like scene from A Night at the Opera, taking forever to order room service in a hilarious manner.

There is a brief subplot in which two overambitious crew members, played by Katie Hartman and David Carl, find themselves attracted to each other and attempt to find a place to consummate their new relationship. While this may be seen as a detractor, it does help invoke more of the fact that this is a comedy. It is reminiscent of the scenes in Soul Plane where a couple intend to go to any length to join the High Mile Club. It may be unnecessary, but it sure is funny!

Same Boat does something quite different with the assassin rom-com and adds a time travel twist. But its guerilla style filmmaking and comical value helps make this one to check out as for its 83-minute running time, is quite funny.

WFG RATING: B+

Dark Star Pictures presents a Cruise Ship LLC Production. Director: Chris Roberti. Producer: Josh Itzkowitz. Writers: Josh Itzkowitz, Chris Roberti, and Mark Leidner. Cinematography: Darin Quan. Editing: Josh Melrod and Josh Itzkowitz.

Cast: Chris Roberti, Tonya Glanz, Julia Schonberg, Evan Kaufman, Katie Hartman, David Carl, Jeff Seal, David Bly, Leah Rudick.

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