Hot Docs 2016 Review: Mattress Men
For a film called Mattress Men that seems to arrive bearing a ton of laughs, the tonal shift towards a poignant, heartbreaking film is quite welcome. The ending of the film holds up and remains with the audience, but in a way it renders the first 70 minutes (of an 80 minute film) as a case of trying too hard.
There are moments that ring true in the main section of the film, featuring owner Michael (Mattress Mick) and employee Paul dressed largely in a mattress suit. Sadly though, Colm Quinn’s film at times feels as low budget as its protagonist.
It’s not as though a film has to be completely honest in its presentation to be resonant nor does it need to be star-studded or spectacular. One thing that it does need to do, though, is entertain, and large swaths of Mattress Men seem to feel too put upon, almost like not letting us in on the joke when we already get it. The poignancy of the film is acheived by revealing what is hidden, but only to us. A layer of irony helps immensely in making this whole enterprise work.