Lot 47’s press notes for Scotland, PA are styled after a Cliff Notes study guide. You see, actor Billy Morrissette’s first feature is a 1970s riff on Shakespeare’s Macbeth. Scotland, UK gives way to Scotland, PA. There are no witches here, just a trio of gay stoner hippies (Andy Dick, Timothy “Speed” Levitch and Amy Smart). Rather than kingdoms, fast-food joints are at stake. You know the drill: revenge, murder and fate take their toll on a scrupulous man and wife. Joe McBeth (James LeGros paging Ben Stiller) and wife Pat (Maura Tierney) off Norm Duncan (James Rebhorn), turning his dinky eatery into a retro-fabulous diner with something called a drive-thru attached to the side. Scotland, PA can’t be mistaken for some satire on the recent flood of Shakespeare film adaptations; Morrissette’s script is so uniquely idiosyncratic you wouldn’t even recognize the Bard’s influence if it weren’t for the character names and the “story by William Shakespeare” credit. Morrissette is considerably more deft at rendering humor than he is at updating the story’s more dramatic elements. When the director isn’t engaging the Bard (Pat’s out-damned-spot is a nasty grease burn) he finds room for a slew of absurdist flourishes and clever sight gags. Morrissette authenticates the ‘70s milieu via fabulous décor and funny jabs at closeted sexuality and silly hippie behavior but Christopher Walken steals the show as the vegetarian Lieutenant Ernie McDuff. The problem, though, is that Scotland, PA is entirely too straight-faced to transcend its clever concept. But why mince words? It’s just not as funny as it deserves to be.
- Lot 47 Films
- 104utes min
- Billy Morrissette
- Billy Morrissette
- James LeGros, Maura Tierney, Christopher Walken, Kevin Corrigan, James Rebhorn, Tom Guiry, Amy Smart, Timothy "Speed" Levitch, Andy Dick, Geoff Dunsworth, Richard Shepard, John Cariani
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