The Georgia Straight - - Movies - > BY ADRIAN MACK

Mar­tin Starr laughs long and 2

hard when the Straight asks what in the hell his film is sup­posed to be about, ex­actly.

“You’re still try­ing to fig­ure it out,” he replies, af­ter col­lect­ing him­self a lit­tle. “Well, it’s gonna be awhile.”

Any viewer will come away from In­fin­ity Baby won­der­ing the same thing. The re­lent­lessly droll com­edy be­gins with the premise, such as it is, that stem-cell re­search has led to the ac­ci­den­tal cre­ation of hu­man ba­bies that don’t age, a blun­der that has, nat­u­rally, been con­verted into a sales op­por­tu­nity by the well-known global cor­po­ra­tion re­spon­si­ble. (Stick around for an af­ter-cred­its se­quence to find out which one.)

En­ter Starr and the great Kevin Cor­ri­gan (The Get Down) as Mal­colm and Larry, re­spec­tively, two slovenly In­fin­ity Baby de­liv­ery guys who are also, it grad­u­ally tran­spires, life part­ners. Not that the re­la­tion­ship seems all that solid, since Mal­colm is more the het­ero­sex­ual type while Larry leans largely to­ward gay al­co­holic bully.

“For me, the char­ac­ter was a moral com­pass for a movie that had no moral di­rec­tion at all,” Starr ex­plains, call­ing from Los An­ge­les (in the “small, crooked, pe­nis-shaped state” of Cal­i­for­nia).

“I’ve played some­one who’s naive,” Starr con­tin­ues. “But I think he’s not just naive; he lacks the ba­sic un­der­stand­ing that I think most peo­ple wake up ev­ery day and ex­plore their world with. He doesn’t quite have that. And he isn’t like a vic­tim. He en­joys the re­la­tion­ship that he has with Larry. So I was like, ‘I dunno where to pull this from in my ex­pe­ri­ence.’ Those are things that made me won­der if I could do this.”

Starr and Cor­ri­gan de­liver a deeply en­ter­tain­ing two-han­der full of weird and sur­pris­ing rhythms and, like the rest of the film (which opens Fri­day [Novem­ber 10] ), mo­ments you couldn’t pos­si­bly an­tic­i­pate.

Else­where, Nick Of­fer­man feasts on his role as so­cio­pathic cor­po­rate boss Neo, while Kieran Culkin has just as much fun as the re­la­tion­ship-pho­bic man-child Ben. Per­haps best of all is Me­gan Mul­lally’s turn as Ben’s mon­strous bitch of a mother, Hes­ter, whom he uses to shoo off girl­friends once the thrill is gone (im­me­di­ately, on av­er­age).

Ev­ery­body here is an in­fin­ity baby, in the sense that none of these char­ac­ters is much of a fully formed or ter­ri­bly re­spon­si­ble adult. It’s all very much in tune with the sen­si­bil­ity we’ve come to ex­pect from Austin-based in­die au­teur Bob By­ing­ton, with whom Starr has been try­ing to col­lab­o­rate for some time now.

“He’s an odd char­ac­ter, in a great way,” says the Sil­i­con Val­ley reg­u­lar, re­port­ing that he and his di­rec­tor have pos­si­bly been work­ing the off­beat chem­istry a lit­tle too much. A Q&A fol­low­ing a screen­ing of In­fin­ity Baby at the Mil­wau­kee Film Fes­ti­val in Oc­to­ber prompted tweets com­plain­ing that By­ing­ton and Starr “could not have hated be­ing in Mil­wau­kee more”.

“They just didn’t un­der­stand, per­haps, our hu­mour,” he says with a chuckle. “I had a great time. Peo­ple don’t re­al­ize how much ef­fort it takes to get in an air­plane and ac­tu­ally go to Mil­wau­kee.”

The Sil­i­con Val­ley star pro­vides the moral cen­tre to crazed In­fin­ity Baby.

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