All the bright colors and poppy music we’ve come to expect in a Todd Solonz film along with the usual dark undertones, but this time it’s just sad. An examination of insecurity and deep denial is the unflinching subject matter that is the story of Abe, an overweight and underachieving real life George Costanza (CARTWRIGHT!) A man child who fumbles about in a manner that is far too real to be fun. He and his love interest played by Selma Blair would’ve been middle of the road ancillary characters in Solondz’s earlier work, but are center stage in this underdeveloped and depressing tale. Mia Farrow and Christopher Walken were the perfect unperfect parents of Abe, but where is the cruelty? The director’s maturity shows (not in a good way) as he has moved on from the meanness and onto the pedestrian and personal. If it’s going to hurt, if it’s going to inflict pain, I want it to be so painful and so exaggerated that it’s hilarious and hurts so good. But this is just sad.
Positives: Jordan Gelber somehow allows us not to absolutley hate Abe and Selma Blair has found new depths of apathy and despair that I have not seen before.
Finally, Solondz is an American treasure who I will continue to support. Maybe I just get sad to see my heros grow up.
Should Not Watch 2 0f 5
Must Watch = 5 0f 5 (See it in the theater if possible/buy it or pay for rental)
Should Watch = 4 of 5 (Worth sending away for)
Could Watch = 3 of 5 (If it’s on a pay channel or streaming for free)
Should Not Watch = 2 of 5 (Only if friends or family insist)
Do Not Watch = 1 of 5 (Don’t allow friends or family to make this mistake)