2 out of 5 stars (has some good moments, but is overall bad)
Thank you to Justin Cook Public Relations and Emerge Entertainment for reaching out to me for this review.
Appiness is like a combination of the Ashton Kutcher Steve Jobs biopic and American Pie. Like many teen comedies of the early 2000s, it has plenty of raunchy humor (some of which works), but a nonsensical narrative. Your enjoyment of Appiness will depend on your tolerance for dirty jokes and a heightened suspension of disbelief, but I can see it finding an audience among fans of late-night raunchfests.
Eric (played by writer/director/producer Eli Batalion) has just been laid off from his job and heads to his high school friend Raj (Varun Saranga) with an idea for an app that will help people connect in the real world. After naming it “Connect2u”, the guys realize they know less about app configuration than I do about French cooking, so they hire the more knowledgeable Jeanine (Amber Goldfarb) and other coders to get the job done. However, long-gestating issues between Eric and Raj threaten to derail the project before it can launch at The Startup Olympics, a showcase and competition for new apps.
Appiness works as a raunchy late-night comedy for college students. The actors are energetic and there are some big laughs here, but I was often distracted by the unbelievable plotting. Eric and Raj’s initially humorous unprofessionalism and lack of tech knowledge slowly grows tiresome, and I have no idea what differentiates Connect2u from other social media apps. Lastly, some scenes have incomplete editing and audio mixing that stick out from the otherwise solid production. All that said, I see potential in Batalion as a filmmaker and look forward to seeing where his career goes from here.
Appiness will likely entertain fans of fun raunchfests, but a messy plot, inconsistent humor, and some noticeable tech issues ensure others can scroll past this.
Likely will be rated R for Pervasive Language and Sexual Humor
Appiness is available to rent or buy on Amazon Instant Video, iTunes, Google Play, and Vudu, as well as Cable VOD services Comcast, Verizon, DirecTV, and Dish in the United States.