Some films make a distinct effort to match a specific genre. Whether it be action, sci-fi, romance or comedy, these movies tend to stick to formula as best they can and wear it on their sleeves. Which, on the face of it sounds absurd and sad for a creative industry, but in reality makes a lot of sense as studios need to make money and so in order to pull in their desired crowd, they work on making their films stick to formula and appeal to these target markets. A lot of films these days do it, which often makes it incredibly refreshing when a movie comes around that almost can’t be classified, nor does it stick to one specific formula.
This next movie, Other People, looks like it could be one such movie. Except, it is deliberately trying to be a genre movie, but seems to fall utterly flat in this trailer. Needless to say, that doesn’t mean it will make a bad film, as its already quite well reviewed from early critical screenings and is sitting at 82% on Rotten Tomatoes. So, I expect it to be better, but just don’t get it. Unless, its just me that doesn’t see where the entertainment lies in this. It is likely to have a tough sell in the cinemas though, as it does look like a difficult film to watch.
It’s targeted as a tragic comedy, but the tone of the film doesn’t really match that of a comedy and its dramatic moments seem a little flat. In an attempt to be formulaic, it seems to be missing all of its marks entirely. The acting seems solid, but there are no scenes that stand out here either. Hopefully in this films case, it’s a matter of the quiet before the storm.
Other People stars Jesse Plemons as a gay comedy writer who returns home from New York to Sacramento to care for his dying mother, played by Molly Shannon. The film also includes a strong supporting cast of Bradley Whitford, Retta, Zach Woods, Matt Walsh, and Lennon Parham. It should be comedy gold – but again, this trailer doesn’t show it.
The official synopsis of the film is below:
Comedy and tragedy can be tough to blend, especially when it comes to a topic as heavy as cancer (the disease afflicting David’s mom Joanne, played to perfection by Molly Shannon). But Other People maintains that balance better than most. There are plenty of laugh-out-loud moments, many of which are intermingled with sob-out-loud moments. It helps greatly that first-time director Chris Kelly maintains a low-key, naturalistic vibe throughout. When a sad moment yields some laughs, or a funny moment gives way to a tearjerking one, it doesn’t feel like he’s pulling the audience from one extreme to another. It just feels like the way sad and funny actually do mix, all the time, in real life.
Last Updated: July 12, 2016