The trailer for my favorite comedy of the summer has arrived, and no, I’m not talking about Snatched, Baywatch, Rough Night or The House. I’m talking about THE 4TH, Andre Hyland’s feature directorial debut that has been stuck in limbo since the 2016 Sundance Film Festival.
Written and directed by Hyland, The 4th is a shaggy yet hilarious day-in-the-life story of a guy trying in vain to prepare for a 4th of July BBQ, featuring the multi-hyphenate’s unique comic sensibility.
I’ve been a fan of Hyland’s ever since I saw his short film Funnel (presented by Bob Odenkirk) at Sundance in 2014. The 4th boasts a similarly simple concept, and I called it “an absolute riot” when I saw it two years later. But apparently not enough acquisitions executives follow me on Twitter, as it took a year and a half for the film to find distribution.
In March 2016, I tweeted “Seen a lot of bad Sundance movies snag distribution deals. Wondering when buyers will come to their senses & acquire @AndreHyland’s THE 4TH.”
The film would’ve made the perfect summer release, but months went by without a sale.
In November 2016, I tweeted “Can some cool indie distributor like O-Scope pick up @AndreHyland’s THE 4TH already? I’d LOVE to be able to show that movie to my friends…”
Christmas passed and then New Year’s. And now, finally, FINALLY! the fine folks at Gravitas Ventures have filled the “cool indie distributor” role and picked up the low-budget indie comedy, which will premiere in select theaters and on VOD on July 21. So look out, Dunkirk and Valerian!
Seriously though, while Christopher Nolan and Luc Besson may not feel threatened, The 4th is a total indie gem that reminded me of Kevin Smith’s Clerks when I first saw it. Besides Hyland, the film also features funny turns from rising stars Eliza Coupe, Johnny Pemberton and Yasmine Kittles, as well as John Ennis (A Reasonable Request) and John Forest, the latter of whom plays the non-Uber driver at the start of the trailer.
If you’re willing to put summer blockbuster season on pause and make a fresh discovery, be sure to check it out. And in the meantime, watch Funnel below while you wait. It’ll give you a taste of Hyland’s quirky sense of humor.
Jeff Sneider | Editor in Chief