Barry is an egocentric and rude has-been Hollywood actor, whose career fell into the ground after a number of idiotic incidents. Barry tries to get back up on his feet, but instead he becomes the prime suspect when people involved in an upcoming web series he is starring in are murdered.
"The Trouble with Barry" outlines a plot that we've seen many times before - a killer on a movie set. It's especially something we've seen within independent filmmaking before, where a movie like "Terror Firmer" instantly comes to mind. While "The Trouble with Barry" is far from the extremities that "Terror Firmer" carries, there's definitely a sense of "Troma humour" in this one too. The movie also adds a love for the retro which is very present in filmmaking in the '10s (or whatever you call the current decade). But in the end, it doesn't does matter if the idea and style has been used before, what's important to ask is: is the movie good?
It certainly has a likable lead character, even though he is a huge douche. His name is Barry, he's a gay Hollywood actor who used to be pretty damn famous, but has since fell into a little hole after a number of incidents - caused by himself. His agent finally finds him a role in a web series. Though he's not excited about the idea, he agrees to do it. It doesn't take long before people involved in the web series are killed off one by one, and Barry is the go-to suspect.
Much of the comedy in the movie comes off of being silly. Silly wigs, over-the-top acting, and similar. It's a comedy that needs an acquired taste to truly enjoy it. I would say that I am a fan of this style, but after a number of fairly recent independent films covering the same kinds of jokes over and over again, I'd says I have stepped away from it a bit. I will laugh when done right (I still enjoy Troma and Lloyd Kaufman productions), but unfortunately many movies don't know what works and when to stop. Luckily "The Trouble with Barry" never steps too far, so I am okay with it even though it didn't lead to any physical laughters (though some chuckles).
The retro aspect shows up in some effects and filters, but also by having a number of familiar names in smaller roles. Linnea Quigley, Michelle Bauer and Brinke Stevens all welcome us into the movie by appearing in the opening shot, and Lynn Lowry plays Barry's mother. There's also a number of jokes on the industry itself, and these are often the ones that lead to chuckles for me. They might not be clever, but any good nerd enjoys jokes about the thing they life (unless done in poor fashion or specifically to be mean. One joke in particular I can't tell if they were making fun of, or paying tribute to, Dario Argento's daughter Asia by having a stupid character names Europa. As I am a rude bastard, I have decided it wasn't a tribute. Why? Because. That makes it funnier!
"The Trouble with Barry" is not a horrible watch. I can't say I will be revisiting it, but obviously there is a market for these types of movies nowadays so I am certain it will find an audience. It has a few solid jokes, some violence, no nudity. The acting overall is better than some other recent over-the-top indies and often more enjoyable. I'd be interested in the future of these filmmakers, and hope they'll be making something more my cup of tea. I don't mind silly comedy, but the biggest issue here is that I have seen it done several times before.