Director: Joe Swanberg
Stars: Olivia Wilde, Jake Johnson, Anna Kendrick
Sentence Summary: A movie about… dating, or something. I don’t really know.
The moral of this story is that SCRIPTS AND WRITERS ARE IMPORTANT!
So before I go any further, I guess I should admit that I am not an expert on mumblecore. To my understanding, this genre entails low budgets, largely improvised dialogue, centring abound dramatic/ romantic plots (please, correct me if I’m wrong). So based on that description, it reminds me of movies like The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Jeff Who Lives at Home, Lars and the Real Girl, and You’re Next (which is more specifically “mumble-gore”). Now I’m not sure if these movies fit exactly into the genre, but they definitely have some overlapping qualities. My point being that I am not completely opposed to the aspects that define mumblecore because all of these movies were enjoyable.
My problem with this movie in particular is that NOTHING HAPPENS! There’s no laughs, no drama, no tension, and no character development. Call me formulaic, but when I watch a movie, I sort of expect for something entertaining to happen.
This movie had a strong cast — Wilde, Johnson, Kendrick, Livingston, and Sudeikis have all not only proven themselves to be talented actors, but they have all proven themselves to be pretty funny. And yet, this movie was not even sort of funny. I get that it wasn’t really intended to be a comedy, but throwing in one or two jokes has never hurt anyone. Plus, the characters were so flat and boring that I could not even bring myself to care about them. This especially applies to Wilde’s character who was supposed to be some cool, beer-drinking, edgy woman, but she only comes across as being spoiled and immature. The only likeable characters for me, were Livingston (who was only in the movie for about 15 minutes) and Kendrick. Johnson and Wilde really fall flat as the lead characters.
Without giving too much away, I spent the entire film debating on whether or not I should just turn it off, but I stuck it out just waiting for something to happen. Well nothing happened. The ending left me annoyed and wishing I had my 90 minutes back.
Verdict: Skip it! Maybe you could enjoy this movie if you’ve been in this exact situation, but for the other 90% of people, I would recommend almost anything else over this directionless, boring movie.
Photos courtesy of Internet Movie Database (IMDb.com)