Wednesday, January 17, 2018

As Cool As I Am (2013)

Number Rolled: 45
Movie Name/Year: As Cool As I Am (2013)
Tagline: How do you grow up when your parents haven’t?
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Length: 92 minutes
Rating: R
Production Companies: Identity Films (I), Wind Dancer Productions
Producer: John Fareri, Anthony Mastromauro, David McFadzean, Dete Meserve, Judd Payne, Ginger Sledge, Matt Williams
Director: Max Mayer
Writer: Pete Fromm, Virginia Korus Spragg
Actors: Sarah Bolger, Thomas Mann, James Marsden, Claire Danes, Seth Adkins, Tom Romero, Anika Noni Rose, Jeremy Sisto, Mario Batali, Evan Adrian, Will Peltz, Terry Walters, Elise Eberle, Jon Tenney
Stunt Doubles: Lucas Leggio, Stephanie Repp, Jaret Salas

Blurb from Netflix: About to turn 16, Lucy realizes that her parents’ marriage is on shaky ground -- and that theirs is not the only relationship that’s in trouble.

Selina’s Point of View:
This was an interesting film.

Parts of it were really on point. I found myself relating to the main character, played by Sarah Bolger (Once Upon a Time, Locke & Key, My All-American). A lot of her opinions and personality remind me of my teenage years. Her characterization was good… but there was something a little off about everything else.

A lot of the situations started out feeling relatively realistic… but it’s like they spin off into another dimension.

You know what it reminded me of? Dawson’s Creek (1998-2003). A lot of people disliked that show because it showed teenagers using a logic and language that was unrealistic for their age range. I, personally, loved that show. Never-the-less… the people who didn’t… they weren’t wrong. In this case, it wasn’t so much the language used by the younger characters, but the amount of logic shown by them.

I’ll admit that, at my age, I could have used logic to get me out of a lot of the bad situations they found themselves in. At 16? Holy shit, no. I was bright, I may have even had more logic than the majority of the people I chose to be around… but it wasn’t anywhere near the level that the main character in this film showed. It hit unrealistic levels.

If she had been a twenty-five-year-old character, a lot of her reactions might have made more sense, but she’d have had to be in her mid-thirties to really make the most sense.

Even with the problems I noted above, I still really enjoyed the movie. It had a good message and it didn’t shy away from the darkness that some coming-of-age films ignore.

That’s one of my issues with a lot of coming-of-age movies. They show way too much innocence in the teenagers and, quite frankly, I didn’t experience much innocence in my teens. In fact, I don’t know very many people who did. I’m not even talking about just bad experiences now, I’m talking about experimentation and stupidity. It’s like, the hallmark of being a teen… and most films really miss that mark.

As Cool As I Am really showed how a smart girl can make some dumb choices… without actually altering the person she is deep down. That part, the movie absolutely got right.

In the end, I feel like the good outweighs the bad – especially since the film was entertaining to watch. I would likely recommend it. I might even watch it again.

Cat’s Point of View:
This movie was chock full of triggers for me.

Normally, when watching something that puts me in an overly emotional state of mind, I try to give myself a little bit to ‘cool down’ before writing my review. In this case, I’m fairly certain that whether I write this now, right after watching, or later; it’ll be the same. So here we go.

I have intentionally walked out of only 4 movies in my lifetime. The first was Critters 2 (1988), because my mom had taken me to see it without really understanding what it was – and then decided after the first death scene that even a mature 10 was too young for me to watch that PG-13 movie. The 3rd was Palmetto (1998); because it was excruciatingly slow and I felt like I was watching paint dry. Thus, I decided to bail. I honestly don’t remember what my 4th was – I guess it, like Critters 2, might not even exactly count because my departure wasn't entirely voluntary. I got called in to work just after I’d sat down for the previews. I did go back and watch whatever it was later.

The 2nd, however, was a mission abort that I’ve never looked back from – and it wasn’t because I didn’t like the movie. I fled Hope Floats (1998) in tears because of the emotional gut-punch it’d given me from the very beginning. I think that was my first really visceral reaction of being ‘triggered’ by something in media.  (I also don’t seem to have luck watching movies in years ending with ‘8.’ That might not bode well for this year.) I couldn’t stop crying and I couldn’t bring myself to go back in.

Before I bury the lead here, I’m explaining that I might have done something similar with this movie, had I not been stubbornly stalwart in riding the whole thing out.

Needless to say, there were some ugly tears. Unfortunately, giving away what actually triggered me here would be a bit of a spoiler, so I’ll have to refrain.

That being said, I actually adored this movie.

I felt the dynamic between Sarah Bolger (Iron Cross, The Moth Diaries, Into the Badlands) and Thomas Mann’s (Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters, The Stanford Prison Experiment, Barely Lethal) characters was developed well. Their connection was not only believable, but fairly palpable.

I was excited to see Claire Danes (Stardust, Temple Grandin, Brigsby Bear) on ‘the big screen’ again; and wasn’t at all disappointed in her performance as Lucy’s mom. There’s also a Peter Fonda (Ghost Rider, The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day, Copperhead) cameo that had me fairly giddy. (As giddy as one can be through tears, of course.)

Rather than rambling further about the cast or how profoundly the film struck a chord with me; I can sum it up with saying that while I don’t think I can bring myself to watch this movie again, this is definitely one that I would recommend in a heartbeat.

Speech Available: English
Subtitles Available: English

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 14%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 25%
Metascore - 28/100
Metacritic User Score – 5.8/10
IMDB Score – 5.9/10

Trust the Dice: Selina’s Rating4/5
Trust the Dice: Cat’s Rating4.5/5

Movie Trailer:

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