User Reviews (10)

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  • Warning: Spoilers
    It is scary that someone saw this and billed it as a dark comedy. I assume that was someone from a marketing department.

    *** SPOILERS AHEAD *** Since I don't see any reviews that touch on what I saw as the central point of the movie, I thought I should add a review for those who want to know what the point of this movie is. This movie is exploring the horror of infidelity through the use of metaphor. It sets up the viewer to compare two events: (1) the Big Ask (Andrew's wildly inappropriate request) and the adultery of his wife Hannah with his friend Owen and (2) the stealing of the neighbor's dog vs. the murder of the same dog by the crazy woman.

    In both comparisons, Andrews character is portrayed as doing something awful, selfish, and unconscionable. But then the comparison causes us to reflect on it in a new way. Hannah's infidelity is just like Andrew's Big Ask but without the class and honesty(!) (Notice that Hannah reveals her infidelity at a key moment which draws out the comparison with Andrew's Big Ask.) The terribleness of the Big Ask allows us to see how outrageous and unconscionable infidelity really is. At the beginning of the film, his friend asks Andrew if he understands how messed up it is to ask to have sex with his friends' wives. Andrew says he understands, but doesn't care. That is infidelity.

    I think the dog serves as a second metaphor for infidelity. He steals the neighbors dog and moves in with in it because he wanted the dog. The neighbors assumes the dog is dead when it doesn't come back. Later a crazy lady stabs the dog to death. The killing is viewed by everyone as much more horrific than stealing the dog. But to the neighbor, what is the difference? The dog was gone either way, assumed dead or actually dead. This is how families are left in the wake of infidelity, without their wife or husband, mother or father.

    The Big Ask invites us to consider the true infidelity. This is not a dark comedy and certainly not a product of "rape culture." If you are ready to soak it in and think on it, this movie has a lot to offer.
  • OK, the three adjectives above are the first three that come to mind when thinking about describing this film. Another one is "surprising" because I was expecting a comedy. Optimum on Demand describes it as a dark comedy and lists it under comedy in its genre lists. Actually, this is not only surprising, it's horrifying, to think that anyone would categorize this film as a comedy. At least IMDb adds "drama" to it. Granted it has its comedic moments, that one might think of as "droll" or "dark humor" but overall it's a film that takes on some heavy issues, and its main character is going through some deep stuff with intense feelings, including pain and suffering. The people out there who may think how he responds to his dilemmas as humorous, well, I hope I never meet them, because I know I will hate them. Anyway, I did not hate this movie. In fact, by the end I liked it much more than I thought I would. And, I think it's worth a second viewing because it's the kind of film in which one might miss stuff the first go around.
  • What a fantastic movie! The Big Ask is set up with a unique premise that sounds outlandish, but the execution of the movie feels tremendously real and meaningful. The script is smart, funny, and thoughtful, and the performances are very, very good. You feel immediately what it is like to be part of this group of friends and watching them deal with this situation and with their friend who is clearly in serious pain is entertaining and enlightening.

    This is really a great movie and quite different than your typical movie studio drivel. If you're interested in a focused, dynamic study of character with fantastic acting, this is the film for you.
  • Heavyzine, I saw this film at the Seattle International Film Festival with an enthusiastic crowd of three hundred attendees. It is clear from your review that you haven't seen it all, and are instead using this forum to vent a very particular personal prejudice. Normally I wouldn't bother with a post like yours, they are legion on the internet, the product of disturbed, jealous, damaged people. But in this case you're attacking a really well thought, well made film. One that you would actually enjoy if you saw it. And people need to see it so we can have more like it, and so the producer and director and writer can be rewarded for their hard work. If you imagine there is a trace of misogyny in "The Big Ask." You should've been at SIFF. You could've seen the actors and actresses praise the film, and you would heard the audience go wild because we knew we'd all just discovered something really good. That's what film festivals are all about! Please, everybody reading this, support your local festivals! And Heavyzine, just go watch the damn thing. Okay? It's heartfelt, it's sensitive, it pretty sexy, and it's funny as hell. You'll like it. It's good.
  • Despite the outrageous premise, this film offers a nuanced portrait of grief that is disarmingly realistic. Anyone who has suffered a major loss, or struggled with depression, knows that profound grief often begets profoundly twisted thoughts. For anyone who has had the lonely and terrifying experience of watching their relationships unwind as they struggle to cope with these emotions and return to normalcy, this film will strike a chord.

    That being said, this film is not as depressing as you might expect. It isn't often that a film explores such dark aspects of humanity without being a major downer, but this one really pulls it off. Because the movie is about grief and its effect on relationships, the characters' friendships are front and center. These friendships are genuine, layered, and heart-warming. One of the things I liked best about these friendships is that there is a noticeable--but not cliché or shallow--difference between the men's friendships and the women's friendships. It isn't often that a film so aptly dances back and forth between male friendships and female friendships without relying on silly or offensive stereotypes. But here is a writer who gets it.

    Loved this movie!!!
  • Teddy Bears is a thoughtful film that takes you on an emotional ride that balances humor, sorrow, love and friendship perfectly.

    One reason this film works so well is because unlike so many other movies, there are no useless moments. There is no filler, no fluff. The moments are all needed to give a poignant story its well deserved voice. This is all thanks to the excellent story telling of the writer, Thomas Beatty, who also co-directed with Rebecca Fishman. In short, this is their baby and it is beautiful.

    The second reason is the cast. Gillian Jacobs, Zachary Knighton, David Krumholtz, Melanie Lynskey, Ahna O'Reilly and Jason Ritter make the main ensemble. They fit perfectly together. You don't doubt that they are old friends who care and love each other and would do just about anything to help one another. It also doesn't hurt that the supporting cast includes powerhouse Ned Beatty, Dale Dickey and French Stewart.

    There is only one drawback about this film. It needs to get wide distribution so I can see it again. This is one film that is well worth your time and it will be one that you will want to watch again and again. It also leaves you reflecting the "what if's" of your friends, family and loves, which in the end is what all great movies do.
  • This film is a horrific example of rape culture.

    The primary focus is on the emotions and reactions of the male characters, and whether they should "allow" their friend to have sex with their girlfriends, with much less focus on whether the women themselves would actually want to sleep with the creep. The clear implication is that the female characters' decisions are secondary, if they are to have any say in the matter at all.

    The fact that this is described as a "comedy" albeit a slightly dark one, is the only laughable thing about it. There's nothing funny about watching a group of over-privileged white men arguing about who should be allowed to have sex with their female property.

    Awful.
  • I love The Big Ask!!!. Thomas Beatty's screenplay, his and co-director Rebecca Fishman's visual realization of it, and the performances throughout combine to make a haunting, touching, and hilariously human experience. It's about grief, courage, the crazy places loss and depression can take us, and the healing nature of friendship and love. I laughed my ass off, and then I cried. I've already watched the film twice, and can't wait to see it again. David Krumholtz gives one of the bravest performances I've ever seen. He's willing to let you almost hate him, until at the last possible moment, he redeems himself, and brought this viewer, at least, to tears. I also love that the filmmakers and actors are not afraid to play with the idea that subjects like death and sex and intimacy and, well, life are both uncomfortable, and funny as hell. The desert landscape and haunting score (also love the Deer Tick song, and final song - don't know who sings it ,but it's great) really enhance the experience. I so seldom find that a movie sticks with me, but this one did. Can't wait to see what Beatty and Fishman do next.
  • Despite its high-concept, almost absurdist premise, The Big Ask is grounded in a very real set of emotions. A man dealing with extreme grief finds himself in need of a tremendous (and unreasonable) outpouring of love. His loved ones are eager to help but feel frustrated and exhausted by just how needy he can be. Anyone who has experienced loss or tried to love someone through loss has dealt with some form of these issues.

    The directors elicit commanding performances from their stellar ensemble cast. The film looks great and most of all the script is authentic, funny, and really quite moving. A fine, fine film.
  • Why are these Individuals of the same species friends ? Showing that they are caring Individuals for the pat on the back or the hug of warm moistness against hard trembling loins that require some kind of fulfillment as caring Ego's? This has to be produced by a pimp or a porn producer, or perhaps those In power, or are the all the same ?Children watch this SHITE and base what life Is about by It!, It's a commentary on the State, Progress and Evolution of our Kind !......You need to flock? Beat off, or visit a Professional Poor Soul !This Isn't a comedy or drama!, It's a farce!, And we're all the king of France! The Comedy of life Is Hilarious!, THIS IS DRECK !