Imagine if sociopathic maniac Dennis from “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” was the CEO of a tech company, and also was bald. That’s a piece of the (excellent) premise of “BlackBerry,” a comedy about the rise and fall of the world’s first smartphone. The film got its first trailer today.
“BlackBerry” is a stranger-than-fiction tech industry schadenfreude comedy in the vein of “The Dropout” and “Super Pumped.” It stars Jay Baruchel in a gray wig as Mike Lazaridis, co-founder of Research in Motion, the company that developed BlackBerry’s technology, and the aforementioned bald Glenn Howerton as Jim Balsillie, Lazaridis’ co-CEO who oversaw the business side of things. The cast also Cary Elwes, Saul Rubinek, Michael Ironside, Rich Sommer (who in the trailer delivers the line “They call them CrackBerries” in the exact way his “Mad Men” character Harry Crane would say it if he was in business in the ‘00s), and Matt Johnson as Lazaridis’ co-founder Douglas Fregin. Johnson (“Operation Avalanche”) also directed and co-wrote the script with Matthew Miller. The film is based on the book “Losing the Signal: The Untold Story Behind the Extraordinary Rise and Spectacular Fall of BlackBerry” by Jacquie McNish and Sean Silcoff.
BlackBerry, of course, was the definitive smartphone of its era. It was a status symbol beloved by busy executives – and people who wanted to seem like busy executives. It controlled 56 percent of the U.S. smartphone market in 2009 and outsold the iPhone. But its competition outpaced it shortly after that, and by the mid-’10s it was in heavy decline. Service for its legacy phones was discontinued last year.
“BlackBerry” will be released in theaters on Friday, May 12.
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