A Netflix interactive movie (or TV-episode) starring Ellie Kemper as the titular Kimmy Schmidt, along with Daniel Radcliff as Prince Frederick, Tituss Burgess as Titus Andromedon and Jane Krakowski as Jacqueline White. The film is based upon the series The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt which has several seasons available to watch on Netflix. The series itself is a Netflix original that ended after its fourth season in 2019. The film is a stand-alone movie that doesn’t serve to tie up any loose ends that were left behind following the show’s end.
It was Abbie’s choice for our Friday night movie last week and she opted to put on this film, which is based upon a series that she has watched but I haven’t. All the information I gave above was from Abbie told me. She also told me that the main character of a TV show the Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt revolves around the central character having escaped a bunker where she was held with several other women by a man known as the Reverend. She went a fun kind-of crazy and talks to her backpack as well as being a fun eccentric. Going into this film that was the entire context I had and I have intentionally not looked up any additional information in order to give you the opinion of an outsider to the show.
The film (I’m going to say film) begins with Kimmy Schmidt trying on various wedding dresses with her friends Titus and her aunt (?), landlord (?), crazy relative (?) Lillian played by Carol Kane. She has a choice of two weddings dresses and it is up to you, the audience to decide which one she chooses, a fancy dress or a fun dress. Her friend Titus is a movie star and is preparing for a role and you must decide if he chooses to go home for a nap or goes for a workout at the gym.
On her way home Kimmy discovers a book in her backpack which she is unfamiliar with, and it was checked out during the time she was being held in the bunker. Once Kimmy returns home you must help her choose whether to plan her weddings with her fiancé Prince Frederick (the 12th in-line for the throne of England) or to read the choose-your-own-adventure book she discovered. The book leads her to believe that there may be another bunker out there and she begins a quest across America with her friend Titus to find and free the women trapped within...
Remember Hardcore Henry?
It was a film that I saw a few years ago (and reviewed on this very site) which was shot entirely from the 1st person perspective. It was faced, fun and also completely unique. As we were watching this film, I was reminded of it. I am aware of interactive movies but in my experience they seem to be linked to board games, I remember I played a Star Trek: The Next Generation themed-one years ago. This was the first time that I have watched a film based around that concept.
Naturally the control you have over the film is relatively small; you make decisions which can end the film almost immediately. If you do then one of the cast will generally point out that the choice you made was not the way they remembered things playing out, at which point, the film or time will rewind allowing you to make a different choice. Some of the movie-endings were pretty funny especially when Titus and Kimmy are shot dead after he fails to sing Free Bird
I found the whole film to be generally pretty funny especially when Titus was high on mushrooms, but also Daniel Radcliff is able to steal a few scenes as it portrays the relatively uptight Prince.
You are encouraged to watch the film over and over changing the choices to see how it affects the film, plus which dialogues or scenes you get to see. Whilst I wouldn’t say that I will be racing out to go and see the series this film was based upon, it has peaked my interest, so if Lockdown continues then I might track it down.
If you are completely unfamiliar with the show as I was (or am) then this is as good a way to get into the weird world of Kimmy Schmidt as anything else. I enjoyed the film and that was having no context regarding the show it was based upon so I’ll give it a Thumbs Up. A greater context would probably allow a fan to enjoy it more than I did but if a non-fan can laugh all the way through then that has got to say something.
8/10 – I enjoyed the film and I may track down the show at some point too.