Disaster Porn 

The Middling Yuppie Humor of It's a Disaster

IT’S A DISASTER Hurry up and die, yuppies.

IT’S A DISASTER Hurry up and die, yuppies.

HOW DO EIGHT YUPPIES survive the apocalypse? By duct-taping the windows and doors and hitting the merlot, at least according to the middling new comedy It's a Disaster.

In a longstanding tradition, eight friends regularly meet for Sunday brunch—three couples, plus their unlucky-in-love friend Tracy (Julia Stiles), who drags along the sketchy dude she happens to be dating at the moment. This time, it's Glen (David Cross), a teacher who seems like he might be the first decent guy Tracy's met. (Savvy viewers know never to trust a Glen.)

The film's first act unfolds predictably enough—there's some friendly backbiting, some hinted-at drama simmering below the surface, and a friend whose newly minted veganism provokes eye-rolling in everyone else. It's only when a neighbor shows up at the door in a hazmat suit that anyone realizes what's happened: There's been a coordinated bomb attack, downtown has been decimated, and survivors are being urged to seal their doors and windows and stay inside.

Throwing a group with complex social dynamics into a sealed pressure cooker is a tried and true formula, but this Breakfast Club for bourgie grownups never really takes off—given that the end of the world seems nigh, the stakes in It's a Disaster remain oddly low. (Red wine or white?) It's nice to see Julia Stiles getting some work—as a dyed-in-the-wool type-A intense person, I uncomfortably identified with her character's stern intolerance of a chronically late brunch guest, and indeed the best thing about It's a Disaster is that it's got a decent range of female characters.

But I'm reaching: This is a passable comedy, but not a great one; a mild, inoffensive little movie that doesn't break new ground, but isn't horribly derivative, either. There are worse ways to spend 88 of the minutes you have left in this life. There are also, most certainly, far better ones.

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