In walking into this screening, I wasn't particularly too excited to see this. I tried to distance myself for my personal hatred towards Jared Hess. I don't think Napoleon Dynamite was one of the funniest films of this generation, I thought it was painfully boring at times. I thought Nacho Libre was a bit funnier, but still pretty bland and boring. Now comes to this. I heard about what kind of film this was, and noticed the talent attached behind it. Jermaine Clement and Michael Angarano was attached to this! I am a fan of Jermaine's work on Flight of the Conchords and I have been a fan of Michael's work in the underrated Snow Angels, so I actually was willing to give this movie a shot! Walking into the theatre, I experienced something I didn't think was going to happen. For the first 30 mins, I was really digging this movie! I was laughing! I thought this movie was going to a place that was going to have me really dig the shit outta it, but then again...it's a Jared Hess film...
HE FUCKS UP ROYALY IN THE LAST HALF OF THE FILM and HE LOSES ME!!!
Ok I am going to list some of the positives. On the positives, the thematic ideas behind the film easily push this film into the realm where it is Jared Hess' best work to date! The opening act of the film is a really interesting set-up. Jermaine Clement is hilarious in the film! Michael Angarano is good in the role. I actually liked his character for the most part. I thought that the 2 leads were great! We can't ignore Sam Rockwell! Sam Rockwell's scenes are all ridiculous, but are hilarious! Overall, the cast and the opening act is what this film has going for it.
What this film doesn't have going for it? Well in Essence...it's JARED HESS and the script. Goddamn was I betrayed by this film. I thought that the opening acts of the film were leading up to a really thoughtful story about what it means to be a writer and to get all of these bad stories out of your system. I connected to the film because I myself am a struggling writer! I bought all of the insecurities and the lame ideas that come from writing really bad stories. I thought this film was going to go places...but it fucking didn't. The opening acts really have some meat on the bones, but then the later half of the film turns into a total Jared Hess film and he has to throw all of the cheap cop-out/gross-out jokes and it becomes a tremendous mis-fire. The midpoint of the film had nothing else to say. The film reached a point where I was questioning "why is the director making THIS the main idea for the last acts?" I was saying to myself at the screening "No!....No!!! I WANT TO LIKE THIS!!! PLEASE!!!" The last acts tembling of the film seems abrupt and not becoming of the interesting ideas that this film had presented to me in the beginning! The feeling I felt coming out was just pure betrayal. The leads are all well cast and are built up enough to an ending that fuckin goes nowhere! The last act is where it all fuckin gets ridiculous. The jokes are all lame, boring, and in low taste and then out of her ass, one of the side characters pulls out a plot device that just comes out of nowhere and you can't believe for a single second that this character has the remote mental capacity to even contemplate doing what she does in the very last few minutes of the film. The film fucks up badly.
This is a film with a lot of potential. I was surprised by Jared Hess, but he went back to his old ways and screwed the film into the dirt despite having the wonderful talent behind him on this. I'd say that this film is a SOME OL' BULLSHIT!!! Skip out on this. If you really need to see this, watch the trailer as all of the best moments and pretty much the whole film is in it. Otherwise, It's not worth the time.