The Climb

A long drought of useful finds from the Sundance Film Festival ends with The Climb. It probably helps that this old-fashioned comedy could have starred Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau. The Climb could also make for a fun radio drama, which explains why the movie relies on elaborate tracking shots in nearly every scene. Zach Kuperstein’s cinematography is a helpful contrast to the static lives of two main characters who seem determined to repeat romantic mistakes. Kyle Marvin and Michael Angelo Covino (who co-wrote the script, with Covino directing) star, respectively, as an amiable nebbish and his womanizing best friend who has a bad habit of sleeping with his pal’s fiancées. The script covers about a decade of sitcom-inspired obliviousness about their own bad behavior. That’s not a flaw, though. The Climb is actually a big improvement over similar indie dreck from the ’90s that never dared to embrace the screwball aspect of romantic floundering. The film isn’t shy about having an arthouse heritage, too, although that’s a Möbius strip. Fellini’s Nights of Cabiria famously took a lot of inspiration from Lucille Ball.