Tuesday, December 30, 2008

How To Be (2008)

So here it is just one day away from the end of the year and I'm 35 reviews behind. Since the purpose of this blog is for me to keep track of how many movies I'm watching a year (and approximately what I thought of them), I figure I have to resort to disparate measures. So I'm going to attempt to bulldoze through these 35 reviews, hoping to keep them within about 5 sentences a piece. If I have a lot to say about something, I'll put as much as I can now, and I might go back later to add stuff. To give you an idea of how far behind I am, I'm starting with my reviews of this year's Austin Film Festival, which took place in October!

Last year at AFF I remember thinking to myself that the nearly-30-year-old-white-male-loser-living-at-home had become by far the most overused lead character in the Indie film industry, and Oliver Irving'sHow To Be” is no exception to that trend. The main character, Art (Robert Patterson), is a depressed and pathetic young man in the mists of a “quarter-life crisis,” who after his girlfriend dumps him (“When we first met, I thought you were deep and mysterious, but it turned out that you were just sad and unhappy”), turns to Canadian self-help guru for help. He pays to have the famous author come to London to observe his daily interactions and be his life coach. The movie started out fun and off beat, but more or less ran out of steam before the third act. I do give it credit for avoiding the urge to sympathize with it's protagonist too much, opting instead to fun of his whinny self-centered overreacting. Also, the actor who plays Art's best friend is absolutely great. My favorite line in the movie comes when Art is lying about his mother's failing health; “She's been painted with the cancer brush.” Overall, the movie was not bad, but it wasn't really that good either.

Here's the trailer.

How To Be Trailer from How To Be on Vimeo.

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