September 16th, 2022
MOVIE: CONFESS, FLETCH
STARRING: JON HAMM, MARCIA GAY HARDEN, KYLE MACLACHLAN, LORENZA IZZO
DIRECTED BY: GREG MOTTOLA
AMovieGuy.com’s RATING: 3 STARS (Out of 4)
The general state of comedy is always something to keep an eye on and nothing is a better gauge than cinema. Needless to say, it’s been bleak, where Kevin Hart makes the direct to Netflix mess Me Time or Judd Apatow’s The Bubble fails to elicit any laughter. But if I was to say the glass is half full there has been Jackass Forever, the dark humor of Funny Pages, and then there is what might be the funniest movie of 2022 in Confess, Fletch. If the question is whether or not you had to have seen the 1985 Fletch with Chevy Chase that answer is a resounding no. It won’t hurt, but what Chase did on his own is separate from the casual charm of Jon Hamm. It feels like a case of unexpected mystery, where aloof investigative journalist Irwin Fletcher- or as his friends call him Fletch- finds himself involved in a murder mystery where he happens to be the number one suspect. Going along with Fletch for the ride of finding stolen art is a hilarious sequence of events, filled with mistaken identity, being in the wrong place at the wrong time, and the sly humor of our guy Fletch. I must tell the truth, I absolutely loved Confess, Fletch.
We see our leading man enters into a New York home, a bit tipsy, but arriving at the AirBnB that he got through Angela (Lorenza Izzo), a wealthy heiress who has put Fletch on the case to discover who could have taken her father’s priceless art. He stumbles around, looks in the basement, only to discover a woman dead on the floor. Fletch calls the police, grabs a pear from the fruit bowl in the kitchen, and proceeds to inject himself into being suspect numero uno. He’s questioned by Detective Monroe (Roy Wood Jr.) and his partner Griz (Ayden Mayeri) but it’s not that Fletch isn’t accommodating to their questions, in fact, while they are doing an investigation so is Fletch, easing the pressure on if he did, while getting closer to finding out exactly who could be behind the murder and stolen art.
The direction and writing from Greg Mottola and Zev Borow is right on track, letting the material do the lifting while the cast drives it home. On the surface, Confess, Fletch might seem like a mish mash of actors you typically wouldn’t get in a comedy. Marcia Gay Harden arrives as the wealthy Countess, doing her best Zsa Zsa Gabor impression, John Slattery as Fletch’s newspaper editor buddy and a nice Mad Men reunion, while Kyle MacLachlan plays a germaphobe art dealer who just might know where the art actually is. Collectively everyone is a suspect- including Fletch- but what transpires is a sequence of hilarious situations that Fletch steps in, including a nosey neighbor- played by Annie Mumolo, following leads that get him beat up, and his sarcastic humor that keeps the heat off him.
For audiences it may be a surprise to hear Jon Hamm in a leading role for a comedy but the proof is in the pudding and Hamm belongs in comedy. He’s charismatic and witty, reminding me of a Cary Grant or Clark Gable, where his brand of humor is sharp but not mean spirited, and his investigative side keeps the audience wondering what he will dig up next. The argument I would make is that Confess, Fletch is only the beginning of a beautiful series of films, similar to the vein of The Pink Panther or what we are already getting in Knives Out.
By the end Confess, Fletch is the kind of movie we have been asking for. A throwback to 80’s comedy smack dab in the center of 2022. And it’s finally the skills and charm of Jon Hamm on full display. Hamm’s work is a delightful display of subtle and smart comedy with a collective cast that makes every new character a delight to experience. Confess, Fletch is an absolute blast. Hopefully you will just take my word for it.
CONFESS, FLETCH IS IN SELECT THEATERS, ON DIGITAL, AND ON DEMAND FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 16TH, 2022
Written by: Leo Brady