A snappy screwball comedy that keeps you guessing as much it keeps you entertained, 6 Dynamic Laws for Succes (in Life, Love & Money) isn't just the best Idaho-based film in recent memory; it's one of the best original big-screen comedies of 2018 to date. Idaho writer/director extraordinaire Gregory Bayne, whose deep dive into documentary filmmaking included the much-acclaimed Bloodsworth: An Innocent Man, leaves the dread of death row behind with this film, which winks and nods to the foolishness lying just below life's surface.
"People ask if it's laugh-out-loud funny. I usually tell them, 'It'll make you giggle," he said. "And I just think a giggle is better anyway."
The word "giggle" is spot on. Bayne's turns of phrases in 6 Dynamic Laws reminded me of other class screwball comedies—and when I told Bayne that I kept thinking of 1973's Paper Moon while watching his film, well, I might as well have told him he won the lottery.
"Oh my god. Paper Moon is one of my all-time favorites," he said. "As we've been screening 6 Dynamic Laws at film festivals around the country, some reviews have compared our movie to Coen Brothers' films, or something from Steven Soderbergh, or even David Lynch. But Paper Moon? Wow. I love [Director] Peter Bogdanovich. I can tell you that this movie is absolutely an homage to those screwy comedies."
Therein lies some of Bayne's own magic in 6 Dynamic Laws. At his story's foundation is a crazy-quilt of a bank robbery gone bad, a self-help book that doubles as a treasure map and a poor schlub of a leading man (Travis Swartz), ironically named Ulysses. Double- and triple-crosses follow in a sly search for a missing $2.5 million. Along the way, hostages are taken (too many to count), there's a poisoning and a few heads are hammered. Somehow Bayne keeps the whole thing floating along on a fizzy air of sweetness.
"It has been a fascinating experience, watching festival audiences react to the film," said Bayne. "I've had a number of people say, 'I had no idea what to expect, but I feel completely entertained.' That's the highest compliment I could ever get."
The film has already had a successful spin on the festival circuit, appearing at film festivals in Florida, Georgia, Oregon, Texas and Washington. It even took home the top prize for Best Feature from the Barbados Independent Film Festival in January.
"But I can't begin to tell you how fun it is to come home to Boise and get a full theatrical run at The Flicks," said Bayne.
The Boise premiere of 6 Dynamic Laws is set for the evening of Thursday, May 10, when Bayne, along with his cast and crew, will rub elbows with attendees. Multiple daily screenings at The Flicks will follow beginning Friday, May 11.
"After that, we'll open the film in other cities, including Los Angeles in June, but being here in our hometown is pretty great," said Bayne.
Boise audiences should love 6 Dynamic Laws for Success. Sure, it's a tale of murder, intrigue and betrayal, but it's sweet despite those odds. Besides, it's doubly fun to see such a great local film.