Reviews - Specialty Releases


Film Review: Generation Um...

A single, plotless day in New York in the company of Keanu Reeves feels like a life sentence.

May 3, 2013

-By David Noh


filmjournal/photos/stylus/1376588-Generation_Um_Md.jpg

For movie details, please click here.

The ultimate Lonely Guy in the Big City, John (Keanu Reeves) works as a
chauffeur to call girls Violet (Bohana Novakovic) and Mia (Adelaide Clemens). When not doing this, he does, well, nothing much. He wanders about New York, engages with no one, and broods about another birthday signaling his descent into—horrors!—middle age. He does, however, summon up the energy to steal a video camera during a flash-mob hula-hoop session (yes, I know), which seems incredibly out of character, but that provides the main action in this 97 minute-long ode to anomie.

Oh, Keanu, Keanu—what are we going to do with you? You’ve been adrift ever since you last Matrixed and now, approaching 50, is this the best you can do? You were such a comely lad, with your exotic part-Hawaiian looks and name when you started, the ultimate adorable Valley Boy in your breakout River’s Edge, those Bill & Ted films and camp classic Point Break. Stephen Frears let you go all Rococo in Dangerous Liaisons and you even did Shakespeare in Much Ado About Nothing.

But you have simply refused to grow up—or maybe you just can’t. (I, for one, would have nervously trembled under your “doctor’s” scalpel in Something’s Gotta Give.) And now, here you are in Generation Um…, perhaps facing this very dilemma onscreen in a work that might have trenchantly expressed some innate truths. But, to paraphrase Gertrude Stein, there still doesn’t seem to be any there there.

Given the prospect of a largely unscripted, meandering flaneur-a-thon throughout Manhattan featuring one actor, I would maybe go with someone like Paul Giamatti or Philip Seymour Hoffman. These guys seem interesting and smart in their own right and have serious improvisational skills and innate humor to perhaps carry it off. But you, Keanu, merely bring new mumble to mumblecore, and that is perhaps your greatest achievement, as well as the willful goal of your obviously star-besotted, audience-indifferent, debuting director/writer Mark L. Mann. The music is credited to Fall on Your Sword, which is exactly what anyone watching this might want to do.


Film Review: Generation Um...

A single, plotless day in New York in the company of Keanu Reeves feels like a life sentence.

May 3, 2013

-By David Noh


filmjournal/photos/stylus/1376588-Generation_Um_Md.jpg

For movie details, please click here.

The ultimate Lonely Guy in the Big City, John (Keanu Reeves) works as a
chauffeur to call girls Violet (Bohana Novakovic) and Mia (Adelaide Clemens). When not doing this, he does, well, nothing much. He wanders about New York, engages with no one, and broods about another birthday signaling his descent into—horrors!—middle age. He does, however, summon up the energy to steal a video camera during a flash-mob hula-hoop session (yes, I know), which seems incredibly out of character, but that provides the main action in this 97 minute-long ode to anomie.

Oh, Keanu, Keanu—what are we going to do with you? You’ve been adrift ever since you last Matrixed and now, approaching 50, is this the best you can do? You were such a comely lad, with your exotic part-Hawaiian looks and name when you started, the ultimate adorable Valley Boy in your breakout River’s Edge, those Bill & Ted films and camp classic Point Break. Stephen Frears let you go all Rococo in Dangerous Liaisons and you even did Shakespeare in Much Ado About Nothing.

But you have simply refused to grow up—or maybe you just can’t. (I, for one, would have nervously trembled under your “doctor’s” scalpel in Something’s Gotta Give.) And now, here you are in Generation Um…, perhaps facing this very dilemma onscreen in a work that might have trenchantly expressed some innate truths. But, to paraphrase Gertrude Stein, there still doesn’t seem to be any there there.

Given the prospect of a largely unscripted, meandering flaneur-a-thon throughout Manhattan featuring one actor, I would maybe go with someone like Paul Giamatti or Philip Seymour Hoffman. These guys seem interesting and smart in their own right and have serious improvisational skills and innate humor to perhaps carry it off. But you, Keanu, merely bring new mumble to mumblecore, and that is perhaps your greatest achievement, as well as the willful goal of your obviously star-besotted, audience-indifferent, debuting director/writer Mark L. Mann. The music is credited to Fall on Your Sword, which is exactly what anyone watching this might want to do.
Post a Comment
Asterisk (*) is a required field.
* Author: 
Rate This Article: (1=Bad, 5=Perfect)

*Comment:
 

More Specialty Releases

Second Opinion
Film Review: Second Opinion: Laetrile at Sloan-Kettering

Highly provocative documentary posits that a viable cancer drug has been suppressed for more than 40 years. More »

Through a Lens Darkly
Film Review: Through a Lens Darkly

An undeniably great subject is, ironically, trivialized by a blindly too-inclusive and injudicious filmmaker. More »

The Naked Room
Film Review: The Naked Room

Admirable though frustrating attempt to portray mental illness within a neglected population. More »

The Strange Color of Your Body's Tears
Film Review: The Strange Color of Your Body's Tears

A film as stylish as it is narratively labyrinthine. More »

ADVERTISEMENT



REVIEWS

Sin City: A Dame to Kill For
Film Review: Sin City: A Dame to Kill For

Neither significantly better nor worse than its predecessor, the belated Sin City sequel is more of a repeat, rather than a continuation, of the original. More »

If I Stay
Film Review: If I Stay

Delivers as promised. 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