Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.
USA, 2014. Rooks Nest Entertainment, Sundial Pictures, Votiv Films. Story by Gillian Robespierre, Karen Maine, Elisabeth Holm, Screenplay by Gillian Robespierre, based on the short film written by Anna Bean, Karen Maine, Gillian Robespierre. Cinematography by Chris Teague. Produced by Elisabeth Holm. Music by Chris Bordeaux. Production Design by Sara K. White. Costume Design by Evren Catlin. Film Editing by Casey Brooks. Gotham Awards 2014. Independent Spirit Awards 2014. National Board of Review Awards 2014. Phoenix Film Critics Awards 2014.
Jenny Slate is excellent as a stand-up comedian whose life goes into a tailspin when her boyfriend breaks up with her and takes up with her friend, and then the bookstore that she works at to make ends meet announces that it is closing. Within seconds she is indulging in bad habits and taking her frustration out on her crowds, then sleeps with a sweet college student she meets at a bar. When the results of that alcohol-fueled encounter make themselves known, she decides to deal with it and forget this momentary tryst but, lo and behold, the guy seems to keep finding his way back into the picture. Gorgeous images of New York City nightlife and an excellent cast, which also include a terrific Gaby Hoffmann as her supportive best friend and Polly Draper as her professor mother, contribute to a pleasant experience whose mundane and unimaginative plotting are easily forgiven. Slate is a terrific lead with plenty of charisma to spare, her spontaneous moments in life as enjoyable as the scenes where she performs, while writer-director Gillian Robespierre wisely avoids the kind of pretentious moments of acquired wisdom that this sort of indie charmer usually work towards.