The new trailer for the indie, hipster, screwball mystery Wild Canaries proclaims it “a love letter to old screwball comedies.” To me it looks a lot like Woody Allen’s early 90s screwball mystery Manhattan Murder Mystery, only this time with Brooklyn hipsters instead of married Manhattanites. Not that that’s a bad thing: Wild Canaries seems to be all that it claims, and more.
The story centers around Noah and Barri (Lawrence Michael Levine and Sophia Takal), whose elderly neighbor Sylvia dies a total un-mysterious death. Barri suspects foul play, though, and does some snooping of her own with the help of her roommate Jean (Alia Shawkat). This involves breaking into people’s apartments and apparently stalking the suspected murderer, all with Noah tagging along, objecting strenuously. As the pair dive deeper and deeper into the investigation, things come to light about the people in their building that they never really wanted to know.
The trailer for Wild Canaries does exploit that Brooklyn hipster chic that has grown so prevalent in indie films today, but it seems to do so without making this young couple appear too annoying. In fact, they bear a remarkable resemblance not to Nick and Nora Charles (as reviews have suggested), but to the neurotic and ultimately loving couple played by Woody Allen and Diane Keaton in Manhattan Murder Mystery. Levine even wrote and directed the film himself, casting real-life love interest Takal as his own fiancee.
Wild Canaries will come to theaters and VOD on February 25. Until then, you can watch the first trailer and see what you think about this new invigoration of the screwball mystery sub-genre.