This is a message to Bryce Clark, the writer-director of the made-in-St. George comedy "Ben Banks": Your movie's awful, dude, but don't give up on filmmaking.
The low-budget caper tells of a real-life stoner dude named Ben Banks (who plays himself here) who seeks his journalism degree and stumbles into a blackmail plot while simultaneously romancing Amy ("The O.C.'s" Mischa Barton), a barista with a shady past.
Bryce, your script is disjointed, bouncing between dumb gags involving Ben's slacker buddies to dumber gags with the idiot blackmailer (Michael Hobert). The film also tries to draw laughs with faux-wacky non sequiturs, like the characters who declare themselves Mormon while they smoke cigarettes and suck down coffee.
But Bryce, you know your way around a camera, and Barton's charming performance shows you can work with pros. Chalk this one up to experience, Bryce, and start polishing your next script.
Opens Friday, Nov. 30, at the Megaplex 20 at The District (South Jordan); not rated, but probably PG-13 for sexual content, drug use, mild violence and language; 85 minutes.