Goats (2012)

R   |    |  Comedy

Goats (2012) Poster

As Ellis prepares to leave Tucson for his freshman year at an East Coast prep school, he also faces separating from his flaky, new age mother and the only real father he has ever known: Goat Man.

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  • Vera Farmiga in Goats (2012)
  • David Duchovny and Graham Phillips in Goats (2012)
  • Vera Farmiga at an event for Goats (2012)
  • David Duchovny and Vera Farmiga at an event for Goats (2012)
  • Vera Farmiga in Goats (2012)
  • Vera Farmiga at an event for Goats (2012)

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23 August 2012 | mbs
| Wish it were a lot better but Ty Burrell deserves praise for his fine work here
So so film has a really strong performance from "Modern Family's" Ty Burrell to recommend it for but sadly not much else to really separate it from the pack of the other high school kid comes of age in boarding school films out there. Film's trailer promises a wacky comedy about a hippie like guy with a lot of goats and a lot of life lessons to impart but the film really more or less uses him as set dressing...which is a shame because David Duchovny is clearly having a good time and is quite game for whatever the script wants to throw at him and indeed he seems so ready for wackiness that we all but laugh the first time we see him because it looks for all the world that his character is going to be the real star of this movie and a real laugh getter--but aside from having him duel with ex Weeds star Justin Kirk for the affections of a rather over the top Vera Farmiga the screenplay either can't or won't let Goat Man do much of anything else. The film's center is "The Good Wife" son Graham Phillips as a kid raised in the desert and finding his way in this boarding school--and befriending his roommate and finding a young woman and etc. The film's real star should've been Goat Man. I'm not saying that the film is lousy or even boring although it has some boring stretches, but its kind of slight, when the elements were clearly here for something really vivid and memorable. The film even has characters that it clearly doesn't know what to do with besides Goat Man and the crazy new age mom and the obnoxious boyfriend---there's also the tough chick who threatens to beat up Phillips at the beginning of the film, lives in the desert with Phillips and Goat Man and everyone and is taken under Vera famiga's wing in the middle of the film, but the film never gives her anything to do there's also Keri Russell (forever Felicity to me) who's character is given somewhat of a build-up but then once she gets introduced she's given nothing to do and is all but forgotten about from the rest of the film as well, which brings me back to Ty Burrell. He plays the much much hated father of Phillips' character. Vera Farmiga whom vastly overplays the new agey mother of Phillips' character (and is bravely unsympathetic here--meaning her character is very unlikable) has spent a good amount of her screen time bashing her ex-husband so when he finally shows up played by the dad from Modern Family--we're all ready to pretty much hate him--but the strong somewhat no nonsense portrayal by Burrell actually makes him the most likable character (not to mention the most level headed) in the entire movie. I thought his presence actually served to anchor the entire film itself--and his presence as a supporting character really served to help ground the whole movie itself into a reality that it was sorely lacking otherwise. Oh again its not that its a bad movie per se--but it should've been a lot better then it was.

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