Harmony and Me, Bob Byington’s new film about a young man struggling to make sense of being dumped by his girlfriend, is being promoted as a slacker comedy. But the term that struck me—and it may be seriously dated—is “sad sacker.”
The character of “Harmony”—which is a man, not a woman—is played by Justin Rice. And he is so convincingly hapless as a rejected suitor that I wanted to send him over to my mother’s house for a comforting bowl of chicken soup.
A film like this succeeds, I think, when it absorbs you into the lead’s much and mire. And that, Harmony and Me does.
As for filmmaker Bob Byington, his film RSO (Registered Sex Offender)—premiered at the South by Southwest festival in 2008. And he was recently awarded the Stanley Kubrick Award for “Bold and Innovative Filmmaking” at the Traverse City Film Festival.
BOB BYINGTON podcast excerpt: “There’s a tone to the world that landed in my lap in 2007. I wrote some of this stuff down and got it into a script. I found that the theme of the script had a universal quality. We were going to call this The Last Break-Up Movie You’re Ever Going to See.”
Harmony and Me will have its opening night theatrical premiere at MoMA—the Museum of Modern Art in Manhattan—on Friday, September 18 @ 7 p.m. Bob Byington will introduce the film and then be joined for an onstage discussion afterward by the film’s lead, Justin Rice. The film will then screen daily through Thursday, September 24.
Joining Byington in this interview is Harmony and Me actress and producer Kristen Tucker. In the film, she plays Jessica, the woman who dumps Harmony and bursts his heart in a million, billion pieces, setting the action in motion.