Minier Mail

A Topic That Touches Close to Home

The Manhattan Project


Genre: Comedy, Drama
Year Released: 2022
Runtime: 1h 25m
Director(s): Matthew Campanile
Writer(s): Matthew Campanile, Mark Chylinski (story by)
Cast: Terry Novak, Francesco Filice, Len Greenaway, Steve Kasan
Where To Watch: On Demand November 4, 2022

RAVING REVIEW: A genuinely dark comedy that brings light and just the right amount of levity to a topic that is hard to digest. With some clever writing, and a brilliant performance from Terry Novak, the film finds a comfortable place to settle into

First and foremost, this film covers some genuinely complex topics, from cancer to learning how to cope with the diagnosis and the aftermath of how you do so. I like to put that out there; as a cancer survivor, I know how difficult those moments can be and how people cope with seeing them brought up again. There’s no judgment either way, cancer is a life-altering diagnosis, and it’s okay if you don’t want to see it replayed.

Diving into the film, there’s no doubt this is a dark comedy; Terry Novak has a decent amount of projects in his filmography, although I’m not familiar with them. After this, I will most definitely be following him a lot closer! His performance here gave me similar feelings to Bruce Dern’s role in NEBRASKA from 2013; while a very different film, his overall persona was haunting.

When cancer strikes, we’re never prepared for it; I don’t think it ever comes when you could be ready. We see that here, where Novak’s character Bob is living his best life until everything changes. The fallout from that is what makes the film, his interactions with the townspeople and his son create a back-and-forth that will make you mad for laughing, but this is done intentionally and works wonderfully.

If you’ve lived the life you wanted, can you be ready to say goodbye? If so, are the people around you prepared for the same? That is a small look into what the film asks, but it does so in a way that reflects the real world and the problems you’d expect to come along with that.

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