Saturday 1 April 2023

Movie Review: Other People (2016)

Genre: Dramedy
Director: Chris Kelly
Starring: Jesse Plemons, Molly Shannon, Bradley Whitford
Running Time: 96 minutes

Synopsis: New York-based struggling comedy writer David (Jesse Plemons) moves back to his Sacramento home to help care for his mother Joanne (Molly Shannon), who is battling cancer. David has a strained relationship with his father Norman (Bradley Whitford), who never accepted that his son is gay. David also does not tell his parents that his long-term relationship has ended. As the months pass and Joanne's health deteriorates, David tries to reassemble the pieces of his life.

What Works Well: Writer and director Chris Kelly adopts a low-key, mostly calm stance as a normal family becomes the "other people" afflicted by a medical crisis. Traces of humour provide balance to the grim topics of cancer treatment, a life ebbing away, awkward relocations to the family home, and father-son tensions. Jesse Plemons and Molly Shannon carry the acting load with ease.

What Does Not Work As Well: The subject matter is cinematically routine, and even at 96 minutes, the content is limited. David's dating life becomes a sterile sub-story torpedoed by a son-of-a-friend exhibiting bewildering behaviour. David's two younger sisters (Maude Apatow and Madisen Beaty) are short-changed.

Conclusion: These other people are as engaging - and as bland - as most average families.

All Ace Black Movie Blog reviews are here.

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