STARRING: Jonathan Groff, Denis O’Hare, Corey Stoll, Dean Stockwell, Troian Bellisario, Dale Dickey, Casey Wilson
DIRECTED BY: Kyle Patrick Alvarez
Congratulations to Kyle Patrick Alvarez for writing the least likable protagonist of 2013! Much like the brain dead teenagers in Spring Breakers, David (Jonathan Groff) is painful to watch on screen. Like, banging your head against a wall bad. He’s so incredibly pretentious, so incredibly above his experiences, and totally out of touch. He’s a preppy rich kid “slumming” it by picking some damn apples. How this movie got made is beyond me. David Sedaris should have said No to this adaptation.
David, as I said earlier, is now picking apples. His friend (Bellisario) was supposed to pick apples with him, but blew him off. He refuses to talk to his mom. And he keeps telling everyone he went to Yale and traveled to Japan, while looking down at them from his throne on Mars. Eventually, he moves from picking in the field to working in a sorting factory. There he meets a crabby woman (Dickey) and what would seem like his only friend in the world (Stoll). That situation goes awry, and he finds himself living with an interesting religious “cult”, led by Jon (O’Hare), a man so crazy he might be wise.
If you’ve made it this far, you should get a cookie. I literally wanted to rip David/Samuel from the screen and throw him into oncoming traffic. I love Jonathan Groff as an actor, but this is like his uppity character from Glee taken into a movie, and amped up a thousand percent. He is actually READING Darwin’s ORIGIN OF THE SPECIES. Just in case you didn’t think this kid could BE more pretentious. He insults everyone around him, and it is never funny.
What an incredibly talented cast, led completely astray by their director. Groff, O’Hare, Stoll, and Dickey all deserved better than this film. Hell, even Casey Wilson deserved better than this film. Even Troian Bellisario deserved better, and I have no idea who she is. Apparently she’s on Pretty Little Liars. Well, even she deserved better. I hated the direction. I felt like we had scene changes just to have scene changes. At one point, David is in town calling someone to pick him up, then he’s off at a farm when he’s actually being picked up, only to be taken back into town? Stay the fuck in town, asshole. Don’t make people drive out to get you when you’re already almost at your destination.
Awful film. Awful lead character.
FINAL GRADE: D-