Carl Nargle, Vermont’s #1 public television painter, is convinced he has it all…until a younger, better artist steals everything (and everyone), Carl loves.


OWEN WILSON- Respectfully speaking, Owen Wilson is one of those actors that have worked for a very long time doing the very same schtick, whether it be for the better (midnight in paris, wedding crashers, Zoolander) or for the worse (Shanghai knights, I spy, inherent vice) by this time, we practically know all of his affectations, and because he is so naturally funny they seem to be always welcome no matter how many times he recycles them for every role he plays. These particular affectations fit the aesthetic of a Bob Ross type of character like Carl Nargle.

Even through the flaws in this particular film, he is fun to watch. This is especially true for the super awkward moments that they give this character throughout the film.

THE EASTER EGG- There is a really creative Easter egg to this film that should have led to what the second half of this film should have been. When the closing credits hit, my mind immediately wondered, “What was the point in making this ending this way?” But then the Easter egg hits and leads into the next chapter of this character’s life. That one Easter egg is more interesting than the two hours of this film practically.


TOO LOW KEY- This movie would have been absolutely perfect for early to mid-2000s Adam McKay or Judd Apatow, or maybe even the mid to late 90s Farrelly Brothers. There’s a lot of potential for absolute tongue-in-cheek, crass, slapsticky kind of R-rated zaniness that we’re used to seeing from those filmmakers.

Unfortunately, what we end up getting is kind of an independent character dramedy with a lot of subtlety. Certain small scenes that are comedic in nature are played very low-key, and important comedic scenes (such as the “paint-off” at the end of act two) have very little impact. I’m not saying this needed to be some kind of a raunchy, gross-out type of comedy, but the energy is just way too low all around.


CATHERINE- I understand the budget was very low for this, and I know that because of that, you can’t get big ideas to come out on screen in a way that you may like. Some people out there criticize independent films that stick to one subject for the majority of the runtime. Although I understand that complaint, I got to be honest when I say that I prefer when Independent films do that because otherwise, you get a case such as this one.

Michaela Watkins plays Catherine, the young ingenue who is a direct competitor to Carl’s fame and occupation. Catherine is such a better character to follow. She has a more interesting story, more interesting relationships with the characters around her, and genuinely is good-hearted and a better artist than Carl. She’s the true protagonist of the story… And she’s only there to service the main character. I can only imagine with maybe about 20 minutes more run time, a full depiction of her character would make for a much better version of this movie, but this is a movie that was made for less than a million dollars that were shot largely on location. They may have just run out of time and money to pull that off.


When it comes to cinema, I truly believe that interesting doesn’t equal good. Those are two separate things. Innovative ideas, pitch-perfect or creative casting, making statements about the genre that your film is in, or the film business as a whole, whether it be subconsciously or intentionally, are all examples of things that are interesting. A lot of people out there will take their respect as kudos for something interesting and just call something good because it differs from the norm. I can’t do that.

Paint checks all of the boxes when it comes to interesting independent cinema. Should I suggest that you drive out, pay for parking, possibly concessions, and your ticket to sit down and watch something that is interesting but not good? I can’t do that either.

Paint is in theaters now.

Eli Brumfield

Eli Brumfield in an actor/screenwriter from Seattle Washington, living in Los Angeles.

He is the host of the RV8 Podcast.

He hates the word cinefile, but considering how many films he consumes in a week...and how many films he goes out of his way to see, no matter the genre...he kinda seems to be one.

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