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Ryan Chess (Troy Doherty) is your typical high school brainiac, a whiz kid with math and science, winner of numerous academic awards and fair trophies, and yet thinking mostly about getting to first base with a beautiful girl. Well, one particular girl in fact, Carly (Flavia Watson), a lovely brunette with a good singing voice he works with at a discount home and auto electronics store called Cy’s.
But there are two problems: One, Cy’s in Los Angeles and he’s just earned a scholarship to MIT, which, obviously, is on the other side of the country. And two, the rundown store is on its last legs and the staff has just been informed that today is closing day. Being young and feeling his chances of happiness and a more fulfilling short-term future are better spent in pursuit of Carly than an advanced eduction, he decides to stay, but to do that, he needs to find a way to keep Cy’s running.
Directed by Alex Grossman, Hickey is a low-brow comedy that isn’t aiming for anything but, rolling out a steady stream of obvious eccentric characters and absurd clichéd situations, earning a few laughs along the way but mostly swinging and missing with every shot. It tries hard to be an a-dork-able romance, peppered with one stereotyped goofball after another, though each have little impact, despite a few promising performances that are weakened by a bland and predictable script.
These broadly-drawn characters cover the spectrum from the bulky weight-lifter jock who needs Ryan’s urine, to a grumpy security guard (played by Tommy ‘Tiny’ Lister no less) and everything in-between. The problem is that while the premise is a good setup for a revolving door of these types, none are particularly funny, with most forced and over-the-top, and some, down right disturbing.
Hickey, which we learn is Ryan’s nickname, earned via something I won’t reveal here, stumbles when it tries to have a message about fear of the unknown, and broad leaps into site gags, especially in an ill-conceived moment when two characters compare their testicles. Watson has some charms and Zedrick Restauro, playing Ryan’s best friends has an infectious quality, but unfortunately others don’t hold up, including Doherty, who is aggressively generic.
Hickey is a strictly by-the-numbers film that doesn’t quite fit into the teen sex comedy or an adult-themed satire, falling short of both. While there are some hints of heart, for the bulk of it, the contrived and often one-dimensional story is all too familiar.
Movie description: Hickey is a 2017 comedy about a young man who tries the electronics store he works from closing so he can win the girl of his dreams.
Director(s): Alex Grossman
Actor(s): Troy Doherty, Flavia Watson, Raychel Diane Weiner