"The originality, or unusualness ends with the title."
A lot of "Smiling Fish & Goat on Fire" adds up to nothing of any significance at all --like the title for example. Nicknamed by their grandmother, one Smiling Fish (Steven Martini) and Goat on Fire (Derick Martini), in proper order it was also noted that one was born, "A happy-go-lucky motherfucker," while the other was, "born with a migrane headache."The so-called indie movie concerns the on/off screen brothers' complications with the opposite sex; both lose their current girlfriends only to turn around and find better candidates. One's a mailwoman with a scriptedly precocious daughter, and the other is a foreigner. Expect the typical amount of bumps along the way.
Just because a movie has next-to-no budget and gets put into a festival circuit and then is distributed, doesn't mean it's quality entertainment. This is the same stuff you can get from standing out on a street corner and eversdropping into conversations.
Kevin Jordan's direction is not unlike that of many "small-time" directors --absent to what makes a movie look good or seem interesting. It's so plain in all directions, it has to have some ridiculous title, that, in my opinion, doesn't warrant any more of an interest as the plain, prosaic, though harmless story. The script, courtesy of the Martini Brothers just doesn't have anything new or fun to offer. Only here everything is just more low-scale and under-funded.
Most of "Smiling Fish & Goat on Fire" skips by on superficial charm and a really nicely placed performance by Bill Henderson as an ailing, 90-year-old stage vetern yearning to reunite with his dead wife. Henderson provides real charm, but carries it as the movie's heart and soul. He has the right dosage of humor and interest that a "real" character needs. (His take on modern music: "Verbal diahrrhea; it fucks your eardrums instead of making love to it.")
It isn't so much that it's unlikable as it is uninteresting. Unoriginal.Final Verdict: C.