I hope that anyone coming in and watching Ramekin doesn't take the movie very seriously, first of all the entire premise begs that you do not take it seriously. Most of the comedy of the film, is in characters total seriousness, and the dead pan seriousness that is pretty persistent throughout the film, it has some incredibly dry humor and very dark humor. The very idea that somehow this girl inherits an apartment on the Upper West side is comical in its ridiculousness. Also, this film was made on a virtually non-existent budget, Cody Clark's films budget seem to range from $50 to $500. Yes I do think that's important to understand before coming into this film and watching it.
If there is one thing I have to give Cody Clark points for it is shear ambition. Even if his ideas don't always succeed totally, he always pursues ideas that are a bit off center and fully commits to them. Even in the mostly normal movie "Shredder", there are some unusual aspects in that film's story that caught me off-guard. Even the most pedestrian film he's made, "Bed", has some surprises in the dialog and story. Ramekin definitely falls into the really strange category. The premise is so ridiculous and so bizarre, that that in of itself, is a selling point.
Unfortunately the movie does drag a little bit in some points just due to the nature of the setting and concept. It is a good thing it is only 70 minutes with credits, it doesn't ever overstay its welcome. There is also some strange audio, I don't know if it was dubbed over, but when Emily's friend is in the movie, things don't quit match up with her mouth and it took me out of the story, particularly in the first scene she's in. There are a few scenes, particularly with the ramekin, some of the noises(not talking), were too loud.
Those issues aside, the script is very clever and creative in places, the cinematography while still utilitarian, is definitely better here than it is in some of his other movies, and the music on the whole is good and suits the movie. There were some clever ways to cover up product labels that I found amusing. The acting is surprisingly good from the main actress, and I wasn't expecting much so I was pleasantly surprised. The lead actress must have one of the creepiest smiles I have ever seen, but it doesn't come in until towards the end. While I wouldn't call this a traditional horror film, it definitely plays on horror tropes, especially stupid and moronic character decision, and were this not a comedy I would probably be pretty angry, but given that it is a comedy, I understand that it was very intentionally done.
There are quite a few intentional cringe-worthy moments in here, quite a few laugh-out-loud moments depending on your sense of humor. To find this film funny you definitely have to have a bit of a dark sense of humor. There is some build-up of tension, as I already said, the film does drag in a few places, and I could see someone saying this would do better as a short film that are feature-length, but I'm actually glad it's a feature-length despite its flaws, it shows for at least a little more exploration of the characters. There are just a lot of different things thematically going on here, and particularly in regards to self-loathing and an over-inflated sense of self, versus a healthy sense of self that isn't narcissistic. It's a solid dark comedy, and it is clever enough and well-written enough, that it holds up despite some flaws.
God Bless ~Amy