I had an awesome opportunity to check out this year's Tribeca Film Festival. This year, the festival featured the premieres of movies, television shows, and even some VR experiences. While I'm living that busy New York lifestyle, I was able to check out some of this year's films:
My Friend Dahmer
MY FRIEND DAHMER (9 out of 10) Written and Directed by Marc Meyers; Starring Ross Lynch, Anne Heche, Alex Wolff, Dallas Roberts, Miles Robbins, Tommy Nelson, Vincent Kartheiser; Running time 107 minutes.
I'm not giving My Friend Dahmer a 9/10 because I am biased and find serial killer stories interesting. I am a sucker for adaptations and this film is based on Derf Backderf's grapic novel, My Friend Dahmer. I gave this film such a high rating because I immediately went out and picked up a copy of the book and I consider it to be a very, very well done page-to-screen conversion.
This is a movie about Jeffery Dahmer. Easy enough. But, this movie plays off the thought we all had in high school. We all went to high school with one kid, this one kid, we all thought was weird and would sure enough joke that one day that kid would be a serial killer. For Backderf, it was true. He was friends with that kid. Well, kind of.
My Friend Dahmer delves deeper into the mind of Dahmer as a kid. Teenage unawareness and chosen blindness is a trait that transcends generations, and it is expertly showcased here as Dahmer attends school and hangs out with his friends while also dealing with his own struggles--his parent's ugly divorce, trying to reconcile his unnatural fascinations, and each day taking steps closer and closer to murder.
The Boy Downstairs
THE BOY DOWNSTAIRS (8 out of 10) Written and Directed by Sophie Brooks; Starring Zosia Mamet, Matthew Shear, Deirdre O'Connell, Sarah Ramos, Diana Irvine; Rated PG-13; Running time 90 minutes.
Told in a series of flashbacks, The Boy Downstairs is funny but incredibly real. Mamet plays Diana, a young writer having just returned from living in London for a few years. As the film goes on, you learn she broke up with her boyfriend prior to her experience abroad, and upon moving back to New York she unintentionally moves into his building. She is forced to face her feelings as they try to avoid each other. He, once heartbroken, has moved on. But, as a romcom tends to do, they find themselves in situations that asks them to wonder how they really feel.
It's heartbreaking and sweet, and as a woman who has experienced her own heartbreak--definitely relatable. Mamet's performance is beautiful and subdued, a great step for her post Girls.
FLOWER (4 out of 10) Directed by Max Winkler; Screenplay by Alex McAulay, Max Winkler, Matt Spicer; Starring Zoey Deutch, Kathryn Hahn, Adam Scott, Tim Heidecker, Dylan Gelula, Joey Morgan, Maya Eshet; Running time 87 minutes.
Flower has a great cast. An incredible assembly of actors. I trust every, single, name in this list. It's too bad when script and direction ruins their opportunity for performance.
I describe this movie as Clueless but with a nymphomaniac and murder. Deutch takes manic pixie to 11 and an array of wacky characters will only take a movie so far. Scott, the lone straight man in the film, steals the show (as, honestly, I think he does 100% of the time). Flower lacks reason, but has good intentions.
PSYCHOPATHS (0 out of 10) Written and Directed by Mickey Keating.
I have nothing to say about this movie except it looked cool and Ashley Bell gave the best performance of a schizophrenic I've ever seen. I watched 4 people walk out of this movie.
While I had to pay for a ticket for this one, I'm going to talk about how incredible it was anyway because did I mention it was INCREDIBLE? Paul Fieg talked about his writing process, working with comedic actresses, and was just overall a great guy. He mentioned he has no sequels planned or on the horizon, but he wants to keep creating roles featuring women in STEM fields. You can read my live tweets from that night here.