movie: Mistress America
starring: Greta Gerwig, Michael Chernus
genre: Comedy, Drama
format: Netflix Canada
plot: A hopeful writer spends a semester with her soon to be step sister, living on the edge of their dreams.
This reminded me of a mix of Sex and the City and every Woody Allen movie I've ever seen. It was witty at times, but the wit was not enough to keep me interested. The characters came across very one dimensional; other than the main lead, who seems to need a prescription for sedatives. She bounces back and forth between such psycho realities, you feel like the roof is about to cave in any second.
You've got a buddy movie at the core of this, but it's so amped up on electric dreams, you wonder if the night life is more of a night light. The two main characters are searching for an anchor that neither can really provide for the other. Their families are less than solid, and you see the life raft sinking fast before the first half of the movie is close to over.
The theme of jealousy is so thickly relied on, that it seems to overwhelm even the basic plot line of that search for family. To belong without trying to find that place you belong. The Gerwig character of the older sister, becomes the metaphor for the entire plot, as she describes in one scene her idea for the restaurant she wants to open. A place to gather and feel at home at, that also is a community store and beauty parlor. She's taking everything she believes is a safe central meeting spot and trying too hard to make them fit together. When the pieces to her life start to fall apart at the same time, she's forced to deal with her past by not just making up with her former best friend/love, but to rethink her entire plans.
The scene where they are all gathered in the home of her former friends, feels disjointed. The group of them appear out of nowhere, crash a book club and then help themselves through the course of the night. This is near the end of the movie, and the one character starts ranting about women's issues for no reason.
what did I learn? This felt like a stage play that ran too long.