Opens on VOD this Friday September 18
Written & Directed by Steve Collins (Gretchen)
Narrated by Jim Gaffigan (Chappaquiddick)
Starring: Macon Blair (Green Room), Claire Titelman (Veronica Mars), John Merriman (Gretchen), and Byron Brown (From Dusk Till Dawn)
A dreamy, absurdist comedy, I’ve Got Issues tackles existential dread through a series of intertwining stories populated by a motley—but soulful—crew of characters struggling to navigate challenges ranging from office drudgery to questionable guidance from spiritual gurus to the complete implosion of the planet. In a deadpan but deeply empathetic tone, the film asks the big questions: “What are we supposed to do with all the hurt?” and “What, exactly, is the point?” While trying to survive their daily doses of despair, Stevens’ characters manage to find the light and offer vicarious therapy for our collective pain.
My films have always been focused on the inner struggles of sensitive people. The current political change in the country has left a lot of us wounded. It’s only gotten worse since we made it. Now it really feels like an apocalypse. I decided, as therapy for myself, to make a film about my tenderhearted characters joining together and choosing light over darkness. I’m trying to take these small stories of people being taken advantage of, heartbroken, beaten down, and link them to the larger picture of suffering across history, to see pain is part of the process in our renewal. I do all of this with comedy as my tonic, a deeply empathetic comedy rooted in the difficulties of being human. I tried to make a timeless film, so I don’t reference names, but my charlatans, narcissists, and sociopaths, are designed to resonate with our current leaders. This is a movie of its time, grey comic therapy for a hurting world.
ABOUT: Steve Collins wrote and directed the feature film YOU HURT MY FEELINGS, a New York Times Critic’s Pick. His first feature GRETCHEN won Best Narrative Feature at the Los Angeles Film Festival. Collins has taught filmmaking at UT Austin, and presently heads the production department at Wesleyan University.