Average or not, there is a universally acknowledged archetype for the male gender: They want, need, and have to fuck. All the time. And I think, even if a bloke was writing this review, he would admit that. Just as I will admit that there is a foil archetype for women: They will only fuck you if you're: A) Good-looking or B) Have money to spend on them. Lots of money. But my view is somewhat skewed from living in L.A. It must be much different in those pleasant Midwestern cities, the very hub of averageness, if you will, for that is where The Truth About Average Guys was filmed and where its creators hail from. Referred to me by Jason Schaver, one of the film's writers and producers, I watched TTAAG without knowing beforehand that it was made on a paltry five thousand dollar budget. I never would have guessed the budget was that low based on how far filmmakers Ken Gayton and Jason Schaver were able to stretch it.

The premise of the film is simple, but totally original in scope (mainly because mainstream H'wood is always trying to shy away from romantic comedies involving mentally handicapped characters in general, minus There's Something About Mary I guess, or characters posing as someone mentally handicapped in precision). It is perhaps for this reason that TTAAG took a while to get off the ground after Schaver finished the final draft in the mid-00s (it still doesn't look or feel natural to write 00s, but I can't turn back the goddamn clock now can I?).

Once the initial financial hurdles were conquered (basically saying, "Fuck waiting for major production company-level monetary backing"), the story could finally be told in the no holds barred way that Schaver and Gayton intended.

The beginning of the film is crucial to instilling a necessary empathy with the mundane normalness of Jason (Ken Gayton). His life showcases one of the typical American experiences: Working in an office that doesn't seem to specialize in anything other than manufacturing boredom and yearning for a physically superior co-worker. Trying desperately to get her attention somehow, he pays the mail delivery guy to keep "mistakenly" giving him Katie's (Erika Walter) mail. When that doesn't work, he seizes the opportunity to force something in common with her when she mentions she has a mentally challenged older sister, prompting him to say that he has a mentally challenged brother. Of course, this isn't true, and Jason enlists the acting skills of his slightly dim-witted friend Troy (Jason Schaver) to pull off the gimmick.

Surprisingly, it works, leading Katie to become increasingly smitten with Jason. But as the stakes get higher (a.k.a. they finally have sex), Jason finds it more impossible to tell her the truth. What Jason ultimately learns is that, as average as girls might perceive him to be, he is better off being himself--artifice free--because, if the right person ever did come along, she would accept him as such.

And don't think you know how it ends, because it is actually very against the norm. Now be an obedient little ducky and go to the interview section of BtH to read our Q&A with Mr. Gayton and Mr. Schaver.

AuthorSmoking Barrel