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dir Kevin Tent
scr Jeremy Catalino
prd Lauren Bratman, William Horberg
with Domhnall Gleeson, Thomas Haden Church, Christina Applegate, Nina Dobrev, Dan Gill, Anna Van Hooft, Britt Irvin, James Yi, BJ Harrison, Angela Moore, Balinder Johal, Julian Christopher
release US 27.Oct.17
Let's party! Church and Gleeson
TORONTO FILM FEST
|R E V I E W B Y R I C H C L I N E|
Perhaps a bit too goofy, this comedy is corny but charming, mainly due to an above average cast that's able to spark some entertaining chemistry between the characters. But there's a problem with the mixed messages here, wallowing in riotous party-boy antics while trying to preach a message about the value of being serious about life.
In Seattle, Stensland (Gleeson) is crushed to discover that his girlfriend Morgan (Applegate) is married. In his gloom, he loses his flatmate (Gill) and his job, then heads off to confront Morgan, threatening to tell her husband Grady (Church). But before he can say anything, Grady turns the tables on him. And instead of killing him, Grady leaves Morgan and moves in with Stensland out of spite. In this new bachelor pad, Grady starts coaching Stensland to act more like a tough guy and treat women like objects rather than potential life partners
Stensland is both a slacker and an old-fashioned dork, but he's also a nice guy, and Gleeson is so likeable that he gets away with the offbeat mix. He has high ambitions and absolutely no means of achieving them, as depicted by his apparent inability to comb his hair. Gleeson manages to make even the most pathetic dialog charming. And Church is a terrific foil for him, exuding exaggerated masculinity as Grady mentors Stensland, who inexplicably turns out to be a good student.
None of this is remotely convincing, but it's occasionally funny, mainly because Grady is so relentless in his drunken tutorials. "I'm a prematurely old man who just wants a quiet place to sit," Stensland whines, unable to resist heading out for Grady's raucous activities. The script occasionally attempts to stir in some more serious moments, mainly in scenes with Applegate's Morgan, but it's a big stretch to try to dig up deep emotions amid the boyish antics.
Through all of this, Morgan's assistant Hannah (Dobrev), continually pops up, as if she's waiting for her own subplot, but it never quite materialises. Instead, there's a rather corny surge of sentimentality, with the unsurprising message that marriage requires work, and that the masculine ego often stands in the way of happiness. It's a strong theme, but after 90 minutes of raucous revelry it rings false. You get the feeling that everyone involved in this movie would rather have a wild party than settle down with the love of his or her life.
|R E A D E R R E V I E W S|
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© 2017 by Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall
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