By Ryan McPherson
Do you ever stop to wonder what type of people look at all those photos you take of yourself? You know those revealing ones, the ones you block your grandparents on social media for. The photos you hope will make you an internet celebrity or at least show the world how good you look. What if I told you it was mostly guys like Chub and Bone (see top left) looking at those photos. Just think of the creepiest most inappropriate guys you know and imagine they are using your photos for their own “self-gratification.”
Ryan Bollman (Chub) and Michael Barra (Bone), star in Ron Jackson and Giorgio Daveed’s $elfie Shootout, as a couple of buffoons who want nothing more than to meet “babes.” Since they can be described as anything but lucky with the ladies, they resort to scrolling through pictures of scantily clad women on the internet to entertain themselves. In stroke of genius, Chub concocts a plan to unite his love of half-naked women, with his need for money. He creates the “Selfie Shootout” – a competition in which women pay to submit a selfie for the opportunity to win a $1000 prize. As entries start rolling in, everyone wants a piece of Chub and Bone. As things get out of control so do their aspirations – along with the prize money.
Bollman and Barra are truly funny in this one. Bollman portrays the comedic straight man who has all the answers – they’re just the wrong ones. Barra in turn, is the goofy sidekick who can’t seem to get out of his own way. They play off each other like a well rehearsed comedy routine. The way they scheme and allow things to get out of control will remind you of a far less intelligent Bialystock and Bloom from The Producers.
On the surface you might assume this is a cheesy Dumb and Dumber rip-off, but there is so much more here. In reality, $elfie Shootout is a comedic commentary on wealth and fame obsessed world we live in. Chub and Bone unknowingly create a website, not unlike the aforementioned social media sites most of us participate in, for people to show off what they believe are their most desirable qualities – in this case, their assets. People from all over the world want to participate in this contest, under the belief it will bring them fame and fortune – sounds a lot like reality television doesn’t it? The film shows intelligent people, with respectable employment and relatively good lives, risking everything for their shot at stardom and riches. It isn’t uncommon for generally rational people to do completely irrational things if they believe it can bring them the things dreams are made of and $elfie Shootout shows as much in the most over-the-top ways.
If anything, $elfie Shootout should be described as a cautionary tale. The film is much closer to the likes of Mike Judge’s Idiocracy than your standard, nonsensical, slapstick comedy. We put literally everything out there for the world to see with no regard for consequences or even more importantly, common sense. Are fame and wealth really that important we are willing to do anything to achieve it? For every viral sensation or internet celebrity who gets “discovered,” there are millions more who are doing whatever it takes to achieve such an unrealistic goal. If you treat the internet like a personal dumping ground, you might just find your own Chub and Bone (without the prize money).
Watch the film as you’d like. It’s a quirky comedy and can be viewed as such, but when you take a look in the mirror consider what you’ve been doing on the biggest of all the world’s stages – you might find yourself compelled to pull out your cellphone and take a selfie.