What we have here is a personal story that feels a bit too personal. By that I mean it feels like it was made for a very select audience, perhaps even an audience of one. It's okay for filmmakers to create stories that mean a lot to themselves, but ideally they will mean a lot to many others as well.
That's what made 'Ladybird' so wonderful. That's a personal story that feels personal to everyone. It's so full of empathy that all viewers can connect with it and be genuinely moved by it. 'Alex Strangelove' never reaches those heights.
Plot-wise, here's the rub: Alex Truelove is a high school senior with typical high school senior problems. He is stressed about getting into the right college. He's stressed about school. He's stressed about figuring out this sex thing.
His friends tell him sex is no big deal, but for some reason it hasn't happened for him. He loves his girlfriend, and she loves him too, but he has been putting off that part of their relationship. She doesn't know why and neither does he. Or maybe he does, but he isn't ready to admit it to himself yet.
One night at a party, Alex meets a cool guy. Everything becomes harder and harder to understand. It's unclear to viewers, as it is unclear to Alex. He's on a journey to self-discovery. He just hasn't reached his destination yet.
Daniel Doheny (the guy who plays Alex) is terrific. He successfully plays the part at various times as charming, funny, awkward, confused and downright mean. It's a challenging role to pull off, and he hits all the right notes.
The actors who play Alex's girlfriend Claire (Madeline Weinstein) and the cool guy Elliot (Antonio Marziale) are both fine. They aren't as nuanced and realized as Doheny's Alex, but they don't stand out in a negative way.
The film's resolution leaves a bit to be desired. Some loose ends remain untied. It probably would have been better to never introduce those storylines in the first place. The script would've been tighter, and nothing crucial would be lost.
Overall, this is a funny and fun movie that's part 'Superbad' (because of the parties and foul language) and part 'Love, Simon' (because of the sexual self-discovery). But it isn't as good as either.
Comedy / Drama
Comedy / Drama
Alex Truelove (Daniel Doheny) is a well-rounded high school senior with a wonderful girlfriend Claire (Madeline Weinstein) and a bright future ahead of him - and with plans to achieve his last teenage milestone by losing his virginity. But things get complicated when he meets Elliot (Antonio Marziale), a handsome and charming gay kid from the other side of town, who unwittingly sends Alex on a rollercoaster journey of sexual exploration, kicking off a hilarious and moving adventure of love, sex and friendship in our liberated and confusing modern times. Written and directed by Craig Johnson (The Skeleton Twins, Wilson), produced by Ben Stiller, Nicky Weinstock, and Jared Ian Goldman.
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June 10, 2018 at 05:31 AM