Fantastic Fest 2015 Review: THE MISSING GIRL

By Mark Saldana

Rating: 3.5 (Out of 4 Stars)

Written and directed by A.D. Calvo, The Missing Girl plays out like  comic books written by the late Harvey Pekar (American Splendor) or Daniel Clowes (Ghost World) where the trials and tribulations of ordinary average people make for fascinating and compelling story material.  In Calvo’s film, Mort, a curmudgeonly owner of a comic book store, develops a mad crush for his employee Ellen, a smart and witty aspiring artist.  Mort’s imagination, the arrival of an old high school bully, and Ellen’s secrets from her life make for a dramatic few days for Mort when Ellen disappears out of the blue.

Sharply written with intelligent humor and solid character development, Calvo’s film definitely fits in with the comic worlds of American Splendor, Ghost World, or anything drawn by Robert Crumb.  Compared to those films adaptations , The Missing Girl‘s style is quite understated, but the relevancy  of the characters and scenarios make the film a fascinating piece. Even though the film is not actually based on any one comic or graphic novel, I can honestly see the material adapted for that medium. I am sure that title would have a dedicated following.

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