Reviews - Specialty Releases


Film Review: A Case of You

Ultra-genial and very actor-friendly, but ultimately too thin Facebook-driven rom-com.

Nov 8, 2013

-By David Noh


filmjournal/photos/stylus/1389148-Case_Of_You_Md.jpg

For movie details, please click here.

There is nothing the hero of A Case of You, a writer named Sam (Justin Long), fears more than being called a hack. Yet how else to describe someone who scribbles novelizations of films like Teen Vampire while facing an eternal writer's block? He is also blocked communicatively, as he is terminally unable to tell the crush of his dreams, Birdie (Evan Rachel Wood), his local barista, that he loves her. Instead, he cyber-stalks her on Facebook, discovers all of her personal "likes," and sets about immersing himself in them, be they judo, bourbon, Carlos Castaneda, gourmet cooking or being able to play Joan Baez's "Diamonds and Rust" on the guitar. Romance eventually starts to bloom between them, but we all know that he is going to have to come clean to her about his unhealthy obsessiveness sooner or later.

Always likeable actor Long extends himself as co-screenwriter, and shows a talent for a well-spun laugh line and wry observation. The early scenes hum agreeably with his funny encounters with a roommate, Eliot (Keir O'Donnell), who is always masturbating to images of older women, from Carrie Fisher to Martha Stewart, and with his slick publisher, played to weaselly perfection by Vince Vaughn, who pitches him future projects like AlienDoomTomb.com. Additionally, the movie is liberally sprinkled with cameos from a rich assortment of actors, all of them no doubt Long's good buds. Peter Dinklage is amusing as Birdie's weird, fey co-worker harboring his own obsession with Sam; a very shaggy Brendan Fraser happily divests himself of any prior physical attractiveness as her singer ex; Sam Rockwell brings added weirdness as Sam's guitar instructor, and Sienna Miller really effaces herself as that strangely self-pleasuring Eliot's girlfriend. In even smaller roles, beloved New York stage actors like Priscilla Lopez and Lynn Cohen add their genial presences.

The film's basic thinness, however, becomes all too apparent in the film's second half. Simply not enough happens, and the screenwriters might have been wise to add a subsidiary relationship plotline to the mix, focus more on Sam's attempts at more serious writing, or just give those hungry, generous and funny actor pals more to do. Long does make a fit, smart urban Everyman (as he was in that ribald classic, Waiting), but Wood's character isn't developed much beyond its gorgeous but down-to-earth blonde dream girl parameters. She's a good, strong actress and definitely deserved more here.


Film Review: A Case of You

Ultra-genial and very actor-friendly, but ultimately too thin Facebook-driven rom-com.

Nov 8, 2013

-By David Noh


filmjournal/photos/stylus/1389148-Case_Of_You_Md.jpg

For movie details, please click here.

There is nothing the hero of A Case of You, a writer named Sam (Justin Long), fears more than being called a hack. Yet how else to describe someone who scribbles novelizations of films like Teen Vampire while facing an eternal writer's block? He is also blocked communicatively, as he is terminally unable to tell the crush of his dreams, Birdie (Evan Rachel Wood), his local barista, that he loves her. Instead, he cyber-stalks her on Facebook, discovers all of her personal "likes," and sets about immersing himself in them, be they judo, bourbon, Carlos Castaneda, gourmet cooking or being able to play Joan Baez's "Diamonds and Rust" on the guitar. Romance eventually starts to bloom between them, but we all know that he is going to have to come clean to her about his unhealthy obsessiveness sooner or later.

Always likeable actor Long extends himself as co-screenwriter, and shows a talent for a well-spun laugh line and wry observation. The early scenes hum agreeably with his funny encounters with a roommate, Eliot (Keir O'Donnell), who is always masturbating to images of older women, from Carrie Fisher to Martha Stewart, and with his slick publisher, played to weaselly perfection by Vince Vaughn, who pitches him future projects like AlienDoomTomb.com. Additionally, the movie is liberally sprinkled with cameos from a rich assortment of actors, all of them no doubt Long's good buds. Peter Dinklage is amusing as Birdie's weird, fey co-worker harboring his own obsession with Sam; a very shaggy Brendan Fraser happily divests himself of any prior physical attractiveness as her singer ex; Sam Rockwell brings added weirdness as Sam's guitar instructor, and Sienna Miller really effaces herself as that strangely self-pleasuring Eliot's girlfriend. In even smaller roles, beloved New York stage actors like Priscilla Lopez and Lynn Cohen add their genial presences.

The film's basic thinness, however, becomes all too apparent in the film's second half. Simply not enough happens, and the screenwriters might have been wise to add a subsidiary relationship plotline to the mix, focus more on Sam's attempts at more serious writing, or just give those hungry, generous and funny actor pals more to do. Long does make a fit, smart urban Everyman (as he was in that ribald classic, Waiting), but Wood's character isn't developed much beyond its gorgeous but down-to-earth blonde dream girl parameters. She's a good, strong actress and definitely deserved more here.
Post a Comment
Asterisk (*) is a required field.
* Author: 
Rate This Article: (1=Bad, 5=Perfect)

*Comment:
 

More Specialty Releases

Laggies
Film Review: Laggies

Disappointing comedic entry about a late-20s slacker who won’t grow up is writer/filmmaker Lynn Shelton’s first outing directing someone else’s material. Points here for strong cast and an occasional chuckle, but otherwise there’s just no point. More »

Rudderless
Film Review: Rudderless

Well-done indie drama about a lost-soul house painter reborn through rock ’n’ roll is a nice actor’s showcase for star Billy Crudup and an impressive directorial debut for actor William H. Macy. But in spite of some good work onscreen, both hero and story lack the edge and originality to carry this drama beyond respectability. More »

Camp X-Ray
Film Review: Camp X-Ray

Army guard and Guantanamo detainee form a grudging relationship in a thoughtful but far-fetched drama. More »

The Tale of the Princess Kaguya
Film Review: The Tale of The Princess Kaguya

As charming as it is delicate, this unusually low-key, if a tad overlong, animated feature brings yet more prestige to the famed Ghibli output. More »

ADVERTISEMENT



REVIEWS

Fury Review
Film Review: Fury

American tanks fight superior German forces in the closing days of World War II. More »

Birdman
Film Review: Birdman (or the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

Virtuosic camerawork and a stellar ensemble of actors more than make up for the occasional moment of portentous twaddle in Alejandro G. Iñárritu's latest—and maybe his best—film. More »

Player for the Film Journal International website.


ADVERTISEMENT



INDUSTRY GUIDES

» Blue Sheets
FJI's guide to upcoming movie releases, including films in production and development. Check back weekly for the latest additions.

» Distribution Guide
» Equipment Guide
» Exhibition Guide

ORDER A PRINT SUBSCRIPTION

Film Journal International

Subscribe to the monthly print edition of Film Journal International and get the full visual impact of this valuable resource for the cinema business.

» Click Here

SPONSORSHIP OPPORTUNITIES

Learn how to promote your company at the Film Expo Group events: ShowEast, CineEurope, and CineAsia.

» Click Here