Poignant dramedy 'Buddy Solitaire' offers up lessons in life and comedy
Kung Lee

In director Kuang Lee's feature film debut, struggling standup comedian Buddy Solitaire (Brandon J. Sornberger) finds a new audience of hypochondriacs, nervous wrecks, and bipolar adults when he takes a job teaching comedy at a psychological counseling center.

At first, Buddy encounters resistance from the group and has trouble getting them to open up emotionally, but he soon finds that his comedy act is benefitting from the stories he's getting from his students and begins to use their emotional pain and suffering to get more laughs during his standup routine.

With his comedy career taking off, Buddy's girlfriend Vanessa (Dominique Razon) reveals she's pregnant, leading to a confrontation with his long suffering and foul-mouthed mother Hanna (Sally Kirkland) with whom he has a very troubled relationship.

Featuring an eclectic ensemble of supporting characters including standout performances from Shaun Clay as Bugg and Leann Lei as Miss Liao, the film takes a comical, albeit poignant and melancholy, look at how the counseling group deals with their mental health challenges through laughter.

As for Buddy, learning to empathize with his students, his girlfriend and his mom, leads to his own catharsis on and off the stage, while getting a hard lesson in life and comedy.

Lee delicately balances the film's many emotionally charged moments between mother and son with satisfying standup comedy sequences to deliver the film's humorous and uplifting message.

Buddy Solitaire premiered at this year's Cinequest Film Festival on March 5. An encore screening will take place in San Jose, California at the Camera 12 Theater on Thursday, March 10 at 5:00 PM.

For ticket info visit: http://payments.cinequest.org/WebSales/pages/info.aspx?evtinfo=47843%7E7...