The Brass Teapot is about a young couple who are in debt. Alice (Juno Temple) is fresh out of college but can’t land a job. John (Michael Angarano) is a telemarketer who can’t manage to close deals. The barely have enough food and live in a house managed by their former classmate Arnie (Billy Magnussen). They are demeaned by their family, former classmates and employers.
Their luck changes when Alice finds an old teapot that generates money whenever she and her husband hurt each other. They must now find out how far they are willing to go to get some cash.
Raman Mosley makes her directorial debut with The Brass Teapot. It doesn’t feel like it is her first time to be in charge of making a movie. The pace of the film suits well with her storytelling. Each element enhances the next scene. Mosley doesn’t go with sentimentalism and keeps the plot believable despite its supernatural factors.
Juno Temple is a darling. She looks like a young Renee Zellweger and a little Jennifer Lawrence in some angles. Michael Anagarano owns his character and makes it feel like it is tailor made for him.
The Brass Teapot turns to racial stereotypes for its laughs. There are the Chinese doctors with mystical powers and the Hassidic Jews with their crowbars. While they are meant to be funny, they take viewers away from the story. It could have been better if Mosley made the supporting characters as normal as possible instead of resorting to paper-thin caricatures.
Then there’s the issue of gender stereotypes. John works in order to support Alice as she pursues a degree in art history. Her rival Payton is portrayed as successful and beautiful but it is due to her father, who paid for her plastic surgery and gave her a high paying job.
The Brass Teapot is enjoyable despite its outdated undertones. It turns a simple premise into something interesting and concludes with a satisfying ending.