“I am a doctor!” declares hypnotherapist Dr. Ron in the new trailer for A Better You premiering at the 30th annual Santa Barbara International Film Festival on Friday, Jan. 30. The comedy follows a Hollywood-based therapist, “Dr. Ron” (Brian Huskey of Neighbors) who thinks he has a cure for everyone, but just can’t quite cure himself. Screaming at his patients — especially when they’re coming out of their hypnosis — is just one of his radical methods. The quack’s ego becomes so severe that it takes its toll on his marriage with wife Margo (Morgan Walsh of E!’s Burning Love). During this time of deep despair, Dr. Ron turns to Hugo (Saturday Night Live alum Horatio Sanz), the day laborer at the local super hardware store as the potential sage in his life.
“I’ve always been fascinated by the level of denial that humans operate with; essentially the human ability to not face fears,” says Huskey who also co-wrote A Better You with director and co-star Matt Walsh.
“When I moved to Hollywood, I always found it funny how people here, more than any other city, repaired themselves via non-conventional means of therapy. In Chicago, people see a psychologist when looking to fix a problem; but in Hollywood they will go to a life coach, Reiki therapist or hypnotherapist ” says Walsh.
A Better You marks the second improvised feature comedy directorial by the Upright Citizens Brigade co-founder and Veep star after 2011’s High Road which was acquired and released by Millennium Entertainment. In the wake of Christopher Guest’s canon, improvised comedies are an anomaly at the cinema. In shooting A Better You, Walsh adhered to a strict outline he co-wrote with Huskey.
“What I love about improv movies is that they capture real behavior and raw emotions as they’re happening in the moment for the first time,” said Walsh who this weekend shares his second SAG nomination with the HBO Veep cast for best comedy series ensemble. On Veep, which returns for its fourth season on April 12, Walsh plays press secretary Mike McLintock to Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ vice president Selina Meyer.
Similar to Walsh’s High Road, which starred Ed Helms, Lizzy Caplan, Dylan O’Brien; the director also assembled an all-star ensemble for A Better You. In addition to Sanz, Huskey and Morgan Walsh, A Better You stars Joe Lo Truglio (Brooklyn Nine-Nine), Rob Huebel (Horrible Bosses 2), Erinn Hayes (Childrens Hospital), Andrew Daly (Comedy Central’s Review), Adam Pally (The Mindy Project), Mo Gaffney (House of Lies), Rikki Lindhome (Garfunkel and Oates), Reid Scott (Veep), Nick Kroll and Natasha Leggero (Let’s Be Cops). A Better You reteams Walsh with Kirk Roos of Badlands Features, who also also produced High Road. Walsh can be seen next in four films: David Cross’ Hits, Warner Bros.’ Get Hard, Blumhouse’s 6 Miranda Drive and Weinstein Co.’s Wild Oats. A Better You will be showing as part of SBIFF at the Metro 4 Theatre in Santa Barbara on Friday, Jan. 30 (4:40pm), Saturday, Jan. 31 (8:10a) and Monday, Feb. 2 (10:20pm).