Saturday, September 07, 2013

Review: Lucky Them

We picked Lucky Them on the strength of the cast, which includes Toni Collette and Thomas Haden Church, and that the film was advertised as an "edgy comedy", which seemed right up our alley. I hadn't seen any of Megan Griffith's first three directorial efforts.

This film's central character is Ellie (Toni Collette), a music critic working for a small independent magazine in Seattle. Ellie is charged with the task of tracking down Matthew Smith, an either deceased or reclusive musician, ten years after his disappearance ended both his career and their romantic relationship. Adding to the mess, she finds herself needing the help of a millionaire wanna be documentary film maker, Charlie (Thomas Haden Church).

Ellie has a blend of alcohol, man, and brooding after Smith problems. This leads her to bad decision making, like sleeping with her interview subjects. Coupled with her fixation on unknown artists, she's  not performing well at her job. Given the ultimatum of tracking down Smith or losing her job, she reluctantly opts for the former, but does not seem well-suited for the task.

The film, aiming to be both an edgy comedy and a drama about a woman who has become lost after the devastating abandonment by her lover, ends up missing on both. Many of the jokes fall flat, and in the end, I really don't feel Ellie's pain. A **Major** cameo in the film's climactic scene seems distracting, only subtracting from the emotion your supposed to be experiencing alongside Ellie.

Geez, I wanted to like the film, willing myself to laugh at some of the bits, but in the end all I felt was "meh". My imdb rating: 5/10.

As a side note, the Q&A after the film was quite nice. Some in the audience appeared to have enjoyed  the film more than us, even going so far as to gush that it was "something special". There is an interesting effect associated with movie going at a festival that, in some cases, enhances your feelings about a film. That's part of the fun about the film festival experience.

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