Test screenings are about as appealing as a proctological exam (and just as mandatory).
For his first full-length film, Chump Change – a comedy about a Midwesterner trying to make it as a writer in Hollywood – director Stephen Burrows has attended enough tests (a whopping 25 so far) to have developed a ritual: He always sits in the back (“to avoid the Lincoln at Ford Theater syndrome”), wears the same Hawaiian shirt (“to mask pit stains”), and drinks the same beverage (Rumplemintz schnapps – airplane-size). “I used to go to screenings sober,” he explains, “but there’s just no reason to.”
Well, not when responses have included one New Yorker filling out her reaction card with the following: “I didn’t know where to laugh. At least with sitcoms, they let you know when to laugh.” Another guy found it “insulting to heterosexual gay men.”
Fortunately for Burrows, tonight’s audience of 20 or so seems to be laughing in all the right places. The rest of us can look forward to viewing it in a “high-profile” Miramax DVD early next year.