UCB founding members Ian Roberts and Matt Walsh (who co-wrote the screenplay with fellow Brigader Katie Roberts) play the titular characters, respectively an advertising man who has just been released from the hospital after a recent suicide attempt and his unconventional psychiatrist. Martin’s last job was on a campaign for egg rolls that would lead to the accidental death of the actor hired to wear an egg roll character costume. Back at work, Martin has another crisis of conscience, as his new clients, the China Chef Frozen Food Corporation, want a campaign with their new line of spare ribs that almost mimics the egg roll situation. When Martin turns for counseling from Dr. Orloff, he begins a series of misadventures that may cure him, or cause him to become more suicidal. Along the way, Martin is introduced to Dr. Orloff’s circle of friends: Orloff’s girlfriend Kashia (Kim Raver), another one of the new breed of beautiful strippers who never gets naked and holds a PhD in psychology; Kashia’s friend and fellow stripper Patty (Amy Poehler), who fastens herself on to Martin the moment they meet; Keith (Jon Benjamin), a Desert Storm veteran who has a problem relieving his bowels in sinks; Dan (David Cross), a emotionally unstable and extremely ostentatious director of a appalling local dinner theatre; and Jimbo (pro wrestler Sal Valente), the 500 pound pro football player and jealous ex-boyfriend of Patty’s, who is out to kill Martin.
The filmmakers wish people to see “Martin and Orloff” as some kind of mixture of surrealist manifesto and Dada headtrip, which makes this reviewer wonder what Roberts, Walsh and director Lawrence Blume were going through at the time they made this film, for whatever it was, they must have been the only ones who felt the many tired and unoriginal gags in the film were remotely funny. Longform improvisation, the specialty of the UCB, simply does not work in the cinematic format, with this film suffering heavily from lack of structure within what little story there is here.
Judging from several visual clues in the film, it was shot shortly after the end of the UCB television show, which would mean the film sat on the proverbial shelf for three years before being released. Those who do brave this film also look forward to uninspired cameos from Rachel Dratch, Tina Fey, Janeane Garofalo and Andy Richter.
This film is little more than a blip on the otherwise stellar work of a group of talented comedians, one that is almost instantly forgettable.Rating: D