Closing Escrow – DVD Review

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Armen Kaprelian and Kent Llewellyn


April Barnett Tamika
Rob Brownstein Allen
Colleen Crabtree Mary
Andrew Friedman Tom
Wendi Mclendon-Covey Hillary
Kirstin Pierce Kelly
Ryan Smith Richard
Bruce Thomas Peter
Patty Wortham Dawn
Cedric Yarbrough Bobby

DVD Release Date: September 4, 2007
Rating: PG
Running Time: 93 Minutes

The Movie

In the way of films such as Best In Show and A Mighty Wind, Closing Escrow is a mockumentary dealing with the trials and tribulations of purchasing some real estate. Everything from finding the perfect home to finding an agent you can trust to lead you in the right direction is displayed before you in hopes of helping you along your way. For those that take this too seriously, then consider yourself scared.

Three couples are looking to find a home and each one has taken up each looking with a different, and very unique, real estate agent. First of all there is Bobby and Tamika White. They are newlyweds and both striving lawyers and want to get out of the renting world and into their own home. Their real-estate agent Hillary is out seeking to get them the best deal possible while all the while proving she isn’t racist, which she is. Seems she is the perfect agent for the Whites who happen to be black. Hillary’s attempts trying to prove she is “down” provide moments of awkwardness that are truly hilarious.

Our next couple are the Lawtons, Allen and his wife Mary. Allen is a successful accountant and they love their present home, but its selling rate has recently skyrocketed and the realization to sell has set in. Allen’s reasoning though is wanting more time with his family by living closer to work. Nice tactic to not be taken for everything he’s worth. Set up with agent Peter is a blessing because he recently moved into their neighborhood and knows the area well. But with the Lawtons constantly being torn between leaving the home they love, Peter gets thrown into turmoil and even focuses his eyes on the same house he finds for his clients.

Finally, Tom and Dawn Ernst are ready to move because Dawn no longer wants to be in the same home her husband lived in with his ex-wife. A marriage that was broken up after Dawn stalked Tom until he cracked thanks to setting his lawn on fire for starters. Their agent seems Richard to be perfect for them as he is just as off the wall as they are. Richard is a bit too involved with national security and brings it into his everyday life. He’ll get you the best deal on a house, but not before a little damage is inflicted to it by his own hands.

Its films like this that are extremely enjoyable while showing a real part of life. We are aimed to believe that these couples are truly looking for a home and just so happened to be paired with the worst agents imaginable. Not that the buyers are the sanest gems themselves. But it’s situations like this that could happen to all of us and probably have at some point or another before.

The one-liners and awkward situations are hilarious and remind me why I enjoy Christopher Guest’s films so much because Closing Escrow is right down that same line. Reality that isn’t reality brings everyday life to the forefront and shows us how funny it can be when it isn’t happening to us and pissing us off.

Each actor brings their own special qualities to the film, and even the married couples have their own personalities and aren’t one being together. Wendi Mclendon-Covey as Hillary is the funniest one and shows moments of comedic genius when trying desperately to prove she likes black people. The uncomfortable moments, the sheer lunacy of Dawn, the rabid moments by Richard, and Peter’s confusion make Closing Escrow a hidden piece of comedy gold that doesn’t get the attention it deserves.

The Video

The film is shown in 1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen format and actually looks very good. I for one didn’t think the budget would have been huge for this film, but the bright colors are vibrant and everything looks crisp and clear.

The Audio

The film is heard in Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound and all is fine. The film is virtually all dialogue and nothing more except for when some destruction is happening. At times the volume will get really hard to hear for a minute or two, but nothing too bad.

Special Features

Making Of Closing Escrow – The director and members of the cast talk about their characters and the film itself. At times they even give a few tips here and there on how to really buy a home. It’s rather short so might as well check it out.

Deleted Scenes – Close to fifteen deleted and extended scenes and most of which deserve to stay on the cutting room floor. There were a few that could have been left in to give a bit more background to the characters, but nothing that would have affected the story in any way.

Behind The Scenes – Basic behind the camera type stuff here with the director working with the actors on where to stand and how to deliver their lines. Nothing too exciting.

TrailersCrazy Love and Broken English

The Inside Pulse

In the world of mockumentaries, Closing Escrow deserves to be right up there with the best of them. It didn’t get any real publicity nor make much of a splash, but it deserves just as much as any of the others. It is funny, strange, and actually quite informative in learning what not to look for while searching for a home and looking for an agent. The special features don’t really give much as they barely total up to even thirty minutes, but I wasn’t expecting much. A commentary track with the actors would have been good to see what kind of on the fly remarks they could come up with. Check it out as a rental to see if it’s worth picking up, but I have a feeling you’re going to find a new DVD to pop in any day you’re bored and want a few laughs.

The DVD Lounge’s Ratings for Closing Escrow
(OUT OF 10)