Is it better to be pound-wise than penny foolish? Is it better to be feared than loved? Is blood always thicker than water? Is a penny saved really a penny earned? These are questions that arise in the soon-to-be released dark comedy film "SPENT." Written and directed by Lisa Mikitarian, and produced by her husband Sam Mikitarian, "SPENT" is a walking, talking, 4th-of-July-grade, farcical ride. Audiences will be amused and exhilarated.

Time well 'spent' on this story

The story is about an eccentric, old miser, Herbert Shumacher, who miraculously recovers from a terminal brain tumor on the 4th of July, and leaves his sick bed to find out that his cheating wife, Evelyn, and dopey son, Lonnie, have been fleecing the family's $500,000 fortune.

Nick Nerangis is fantastic as the naive patriarch, Herbert. Connie Lamothe plays long-suffering, long-married Evelyn with a perfect mixture of weariness, understated humor, and a touch of cupidity. Darren Barzegar's Lonnie, with his nerdy glasses, suspenders and half-hanging shirt tail, is fun to watch.

Clarence Shubert is delightful as Herbert's old friend Marty, who lamented the hours men put in at the office to support their families, only to receive stale gifts in return for their service. Madeline Mikitarian has a hilarious scene as Evelyn's shady confidant Margot Peer. Tony Villa's scenes as Evelyn's suitor are ardent.

Money well 'spent' on cinematography

You will not find a more gorgeously shot film this year.

Bucolic scenes of suburbs and parks glisten, thanks to the masterful work of cinematographer David Doko. I felt as though I could step into every scene. Erik Kristopher Myers and Jeff Herberger applied superior editing skills to help make the film move along at a crisp when needed, and at a slower pace in others. I loved James F.

Cotton's score, which always seemed to match what was going on on-screen.

The film moved easily from black-and-white to color. Black-and-white was used in scenes that featured Herbert, and color was used in the other scenes. That brilliant use of color created an any time\any place feel for the film.

Two well 'spent' hours

This movie, in an era of sequels and superhero movies, proves that independent filmmaking is at the vangard of high quality storytelling these days. It also proves that a 122 minute noir comedy can also hold nuggets of charm, many good chuckles and good-naturedness. "SPENT" is a well-crafted film to watch in 2017.