14 June 2011 | doug1967_1
After having slogged through Joe Swanberg's unwatchable "Hannah Takes the Stairs" a couple of years back, you can probably imagine I was not that thrilled when I saw his name at the start of this film. I decided to keep an open mind and sallied forth anyway. The results were, unfortunately, about what I expected.
As with "Hannah", this is a largely improvised movie that seemingly goes nowhere—at ten miles an hour at that. The plot involves the characters working on a play with tribulations that spill over into their real lives but it's about as interesting as watching an actual play rehearsal. The movie has very little actual story and I simply could not get involved with this at all.
Maybe it's me; maybe I don't get the whole "Mumblecore" genre of films about twenty-somethings but at just an hour and a quarter, it was an ordeal to sit through, even on TV at home. How does one do a movie with improvised dialog? Watch "A Mighty Wind", "Waiting for Guffman" or any one of the Christopher Guest-directed movies. That's how you do it, folks.
Mr. Swanberg, this is the last film of yours I will be wasting my time with. I applaud young filmmakers willing to take chances but you've got to engage your audience if you want to keep them awake and coming back for more.