Jon Bernthal takes a selfie and learns how to use Instagram in this exclusive clip from the new film Small Engine Repair. The film is written and directed by John Pollono and based on his 2011 play. Bernthal also starred in the Los Angeles production of the play and serves as a producer on the film. Small Engine Repair premieres in theaters on September 10.
Set in a working-class New England town, Small Engine Repair tells the story of three childhood friends: ex-con Frankie (Pollono), ladies man Swaino (Bernthal), and the perpetually adolescent Packie (Shea Whigham). The men are united by their love of the Red Socks, rowdy bars, and Frankie’s teenage daughter Crystal (Ciara Bravo). When Frankie invites his friends to his repair shop for a night of whiskey and steaks, they are unprepared for the favor he asks on behalf of the young woman they all care about. As events spiral out of control, tensions rise and relationships are tested.
Screen Rant has an exclusive clip from Small Engine Repair featuring and Bernthal and Whigham taking on the daunting task of learning social media. Swaino is clearly resistant to selfies and social media and uses some strong language to get his point across. Packie does not seem discouraged by his friend’s attitude and is happy to share his knowledge. Watch the clip below.
Small Engine Repair explores the themes of brotherhood, class struggle, and modern masculinity in the age of social media. The language in the clip hints at some of Swaino’s feelings; while he clearly cares for his friend, there is tension there of not wanting to be seen in a picture with another man. While his behavior may make viewers uncomfortable, Pollono says that is the point:
Theater and film regularly explore characters that do morally questionable things. They do it so we don’t have to. I’m not like these characters, but in order to spark a productive discussion, I went to some really dark places. We hold masculinity on such a pedestal that to see a guy emasculated seems a fate worse than death, which is ridiculous and dangerous.
Pollono used his experience of living in Londonderry, New Hampshire to inspire Small Engine Repair. The world of the film, and the world he grew up in, valued certain “male” traits such as aggressiveness, violence, and stoicism at the expense of sensitivity. His feature debut takes a dark, but comedic look at the lives of these men and the way in which it gets upended.
Small Engine Repair premieres in theaters on September 10 from Vertical Entertainment.