When I popped this flick into the DVD player, I knew nothing about it other than what I had read on the IMDB - I didn't even have any DVD packaging to go by, since the review copy was a plain-wrapper check disc. As the opening credits rolled, I began to worry - what if this was another overly-hip indie self-indulgence-fest? Those fears were quickly put to rest, however; writer/director Danny Comden not only avoided going for the painfully-hip approach, he managed to deliver a good-natured - hell, even sweet -- little comedy about a group of friends looking for romance (and gainful employment) in Los Angeles.
The movie opens as Sol (Balthazar Getty, who kinda looks like the actor you'd hire if you couldn't get Charlie Sheen - or maybe it's the other way around) awakens to the harmonious melody of a snoozing young lady's flatulence. Realizing he's experiencing "Post Orgasmic Disgust" (or P.O.D.), Sol quickly calls in his pal Cooper (Danny Comden) to bail him out of the situation. Said young lady is played by Tori Spelling, in all her fake-boobed goodness (and turning in a pretty funny performance). Cooper, a coiffure-obsessed club-monkey, saves the day before running off to work on his hair.
We then meet Sol's roommate, Justin (Jamie Kennedy), a mail-room boy who hopes to climb the ladder of success at the agency he works for. Kennedy is funnier than hell in pretty much everything he does, and gets most of the movie's big laughs as he suffers the wrath of his constantly PMS-ing, ball-busting fiance (Natasha Gregson-Wagner), not to mention the tyrannical agent (Cheri Oteri) he winds up working as an assistant to.
The other members of the group are Chloe (Katherine Towne), a cute n' sassy tomboy working as a waitress at a hip restaurant while she studies psychology, and Sol's cowboy cousin Happy (Johnathon Shaech) who comes to visit after taking a "time out" from his wife. In tried-and-true John Hughes fashion, Sol and Chloe are longtime friends that we immediately know should be together, but of course, they're both oblivious.
Sol is an aspiring actor, which basically means he's unemployed and can't pay his share of the rent. When his unemployment checks are cut off, he's forced to ask his parents for help, but his terrifying baseball-umpire father (Robert Wagner) sends him to the showers (so to speak). His luck only gets worse from there. Feeling adrift, Sol tries going to a temp agency, only to suffer one mishap after another in the "real" job market. He continues to spiral further and further into self-doubt as he questions his goals and his approach to finding true love.
The DVD delivers the goods picture-and-sound-wise with its super-sharp 1.85:1 anamorphic transfer and crisp Dolby Stereo audio. Extras are good but a little light, consisting of a commentary track featuring Danny Comden, Balthazar Getty, Katherine Towne and producer Tucker Tooley, along with a handful of deleted scenes (check out that 'Nam Vet who was completely cut from the film!).
While Sol Goode definitely wears its adoration for John Hughes movies on its sleeve, the flick is really more akin to stuff like Swingers and even Free Enterprise. I can't say I liked Sol as much as either of those movies, but I was very pleasantly surprised. The cast is terrific, the writing and direction is solid (parts of the movie will have you doing a nasal spray with your soda), and as an added bonus, I seriously think this flick will help you score with your girlfriend (but I wouldn't try to pull the schoolgirl uniform thing on her until a couple weeks after you watch it).