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

Momo
Film Review: Letter to Momo

Literally beset by goblins, this strained animated effort should have concentrated on the human elements of its story rather than the supernatural. More »

A Master Builder
Film Review: A Master Builder

A personal project which should have stayed personal, this turgid yet flat Ibsen adaptation is third-time unlucky for Wallace Shawn and Andre Gregory. More »

Fanny
Film Review: Fanny

"Classic" is a word all too casually bandied about, but for Daniel Auteuil's screen adaptation of this beloved French trilogy it is completely apropos. More »

Alive Inside
Film Review: Alive Inside

Incredibly moving and powerful documentary about combatting Alzheimer's with music. Without the use of a single CGI effect, you see literal miracles happening here. More »

ADVERTISEMENT



REVIEWS

Magic in the Moonlight
Film Review: Magic in the Moonlight

Slight Woody Allen period romance is enlivened by appealing leads Colin Firth and Emma Stone. More »

Sex Tape review
Film Review: Sex Tape

Couple's homemade porn circulates on the web in an R-rated comedy that wastes the talents of its stars. 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