Noël Wells is a triple threat apparently. Cool AND talented in writing, directing and acting? Fine. It’s totally fine. Good for you, Noël.
I don’t know much about the film going in so I can’t really preempt it with anything insightful. All I know is that I’m expecting a sort of Tiny Furniture/Lena Dunham vibe – which could go either way.
After a loved one falls ill, struggling comedian Emily Martin returns to her college town of Austin, Texas and must come to terms with her past while staying with her ex-boyfriend and his new girlfriend.
Emily Martin (Wells) is a struggling comedienne living in LA. Things aren’t going great for her truth be told and they turn worse still when she receives distressing news from home.
Since Emily dumped her ex-boyfriend Eric (Nick Thune) for the bright lights of the big city via a telephone call, things are set to become super awkward on her return. Not least because she’s coming back to say goodbye to their shared cat Mr. Roosevelt, who has just coughed his last fur ball.
Eric still lives in their old house with his new (perfect) girlfriend, Celeste Jones (Britt Lower) – and in Emily’s absence, Celeste has taken on Cat Mom duties. This doesn’t rest easy with Emily but she has little choice under the circumstances. Things become even more uncomfortable when Celeste and Eric offer to take Emily in while she’s in town.
Nope. Nope nope nope.
During a group dinner, Emily suffers a minor melt down, brought on by insecurity about her career – and befriends waitress, Jen (Daniella Pineda), a girl she met once at a party. Jen proves to be a welcome distraction as Emily gets her head around several changes in her life, including losing her day job back in LA, the passing of Mr. Roosevelt, her relationship with Eric – and trying to deal with her growing resentment towards the perfectly together Celeste.
They go to the beach and get their boobs out. Emily also hooks up with a hot but disheveled hipster. Meanwhile, she is dismayed to learn that Eric isn’t doing music anymore and changing quite a lot of who he is for his new relationship. During a party the two bond again over their shared love of performance.
Emily’s most popular YouTube video is also outed at the party and she gets all pissy thinking this is the only thing she will ever be known for (it’s a video of her in a bath tub full of spaghetti). Personally, who cares? But Emily does.
When Celeste steps on Emily’s toes more than once when it comes to celebrating Mr. Roosevelt’s life, things come to an angsty head.
The question is: Meh. Will the cat get the burial he deserves? Will Emily sort her fucking life out? Is Celeste a robot or does even she have her own insecurities/idiosyncrasies? Hmmmm.
FACT: I have a friend called Celeste Jones and she is way, way cooler that this Celeste Jones. I wish she’d been in this film.
I found this super boring and I feel bad about it. I just didn’t care that much for Emily. She comes off as completely self-involved but without the charm of say, Shirin in Appropriate Behaviour (reviewed here).
The big difference is that AB was zingy and snappy in its dialogue, while this was a wishy washy offering that just sort of bumbles along.
Things I did like: It looks quite nice and the scene is which Celeste unravels slightly (*SPOILER*) to reveal she’s a normal human being is quite heart-warming. This film is as strong as its female relationships – and I would have liked much more of that.
Also, more cats.
2.5/5. Not for me. Weirdly.