Review 96: People Places Things (2015)
I’ve been looking for more indie movies this week to rinse the taste of Batman v Superman out of my movie taste buds and Netflix has been my mouthwash. People Places Things caught my eye and I wasn’t disappointed. While it’s not perfect, it’s a quirky romantic comedy with a strong lead and solid story landing it squarely in the Not Quite Golden, Ponyboy rating.
Will Henry (Jemaine Clement) is a newly single graphic novelist with twin daughters and a teaching job at an art college. Will is trying to figure out who he is, what he wants, and how to deal with his new position in life.
Jemaine Clement is really on display in this film. I enjoy his dry wit and definitely sympathize with his character. There is a lot of deeper content about happiness and expectations that his character kind of introduces. His interactions with the few other characters in this film while he navigates the world that he has found himself in is compelling.
This is the first film written and directed by James C. Strouse that I’ve seen, and he manages to tell a very good story while staying with a small casts. The characters are relatable and their actions definitely feel organic and believable while managing to still be comedic.
My favorite scenes are while he’s teaching in the classroom. He is teaching about comic books and life while using his class as a sort of therapy session. The interactions between the students, the teacher, and the artwork they’re discussing is really interesting. The personalities of the students really manage to come out despite their limited on screen time.
I definitely think this is a film that can hit or miss depending on your comedic preferences. I happen to like the dry intellectual humor that Clement and company manages to deliver in this film. At the very least, the story is relatable and well told.