Parents' Guide to

An Evening with Beverly Luff Linn

By Michael Ordona, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Offbeat noir comedy has strong language, some sexuality.

Movie R 2018 108 minutes
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age 15+

Based on 1 parent review

age 15+


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Set in some kind of vaguely '70s/'80s nevertime, this offbeat comedy mixes low-key, deadpan quirkiness with performances delivered in intentionally large gestures. An Evening with Beverly Luff Linn is a fake noir that recalls the exaggeratedly awkward style of Napoleon Dynamite and Wes Anderson, but it only consistently delivers when the hilarious Clement is on-screen. It's populated by oddballs, though its studied weirdness keeps us from loving them -- save for Shane's sidekick, Tyrone (Zach Cherry), and Clement's Colin. Colin is a soft-hearted thug whose idea of an intimate baring of souls with Lulu involves a long monologue about his difficulties pooping as a child. (To be fair, that story does end in triumph.) Clement's unsentimental underdog is easy to root for. The actor knows how to wring unexpected laughs out of a moment, such as when he unexpectedly whispers the repetition of a line.

Luff Linn has its moments. In one sequence that parodies noir suggestiveness, a rotund, growling Beverly -- wearing an old-timey, candy-striped onesie swimsuit -- sends Lulu into uncontrollable spasms of desire. And Beverly punctuates the sentence by emerging from the pool with a primal howl, for some reason. Robinson seems to enjoy the wordless grumbling that constitutes most of his dialogue. Despite the movie's caper setup, the real crimes here may be against fashion. Adjay storms in to berate the thieves wearing a cable-knit longshoreman's sweater and jean shorts. The actors' wigs were clearly chosen for their potential to blind potential witnesses. Hirsch is way over the top, Plaza is only partially femme fatale-y. Cherry steals scenes with harmless thuggery. Luff Linn doesn't fully cash in on its promise, but the foolish sweetness of Clement's performance will make it worthwhile to some.

Movie Details

  • In theaters: October 19, 2018
  • On DVD or streaming: January 8, 2019
  • Cast: Aubrey Plaza , Jemaine Clement , Craig Robinson , Emile Hirsch
  • Director: Jim Hosking
  • Inclusion Information: Female actors, Bisexual actors, Latino actors, Indigenous actors, Polynesian/Pacific Islander actors
  • Studio: Film4
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Run time: 108 minutes
  • MPAA rating: R
  • MPAA explanation: language throughout, and for some sexuality/nudity
  • Last updated: June 20, 2023

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