DVD Review: It’s a Disaster (USA, 2013)


It’s A Disaster is the black comedy feature film written and directed by Todd Berger. It starts at another Sunday “couples brunch” amongst a group of friends. Not only do the relationships of these couples and the friendships amongst them seem to fall apart, but also a mysterious world disaster occurs outside the home. A fatal chemical gas has spread through suburbia and these eight people must remain inside.

This film blatantly quips that it exists not to necessarily parody the “disaster film” genre, but to create its own sub-genre. While disaster rages outside, the couples must also endure their own disastrous turn of events. From the very beginning affairs, awkward dates and drug abuse swirl around what should have been a lovely brunch much like the chemical gasses swirl unseen outside.

Countless times the audience must be reminded this movie is a flimsy affair. It shouldn’t be taken seriously. There are some touching moments between the main protagonists Tracey and Glen played by Julia Stiles and David Cross. But at the same time there are no particular protagonists, or more specifically, characters the audience can enjoy. Each of the eight main characters seems to be narcissistic, foolish or cold hearted in their own ways. But as stipulated, even their cruelness shouldn’t be taken seriously. The basis of the film is not to draw emotion from viewers, neither sadness nor raucous laughter. The only logical conclusion or purpose of this film is absurdity and a smattering of dry wit.

It’s A Disaster, is at times exactly that, a disaster. Julia Stiles and David Cross carry the film most of the way. The two of them seem to carry the movie like a heavy chest. Each of them take a handle and awkwardly shuffle along through the snow until finally arriving to their home and slumping against this great trunk of a film. The rest of the cast doesn’t bring anything particularly astonishing to the table, neither at the table for the brunch scene or the rest of the film. Their reactions swing between robotic and utterly unbelievable. Even in the thread of the story it does not seem logical for certain characters to be together at all, and the film in no way explains how they might have once been in love or why they remain together now. The dynamic between Julia Stiles and David Cross is the most fascinating, and it’s disappointing that their relationship doesn’t get more screen time. But at the same time, perhaps Berger wanted this stunted, awkwardness between cast members because these people are in many ways stunted and awkward.

One element of the film that is superb and in many ways saves it from disaster is the end. It is quirky, funny and exactly the only way the story could possibly finish it self. It laughs at it self and its characters, admitting they are all awful but that they are here for the audiences’ amusement only. Though open-ended, it rolls the credits on the end of a tongue in cheek joke. Viewers might be exasperated or bewildered, but ultimately they will laugh.

Special Features have not been reviewed.

Duration: 88 Minutes
Rated: M

It’s a Disaster is released on DVD and Blu-Ray on February 19th through Accent Film Entertainment.


This content has recently been ported from its original home on The Iris and may have formatting errors – images may not be showing up, or duplicated, and galleries may not be working. We are slowly fixing these issue. If you spot any major malfunctions making it impossible to read the content, however, please let us know at editor AT theaureview.com.