Review 383: The Hollars (2016)
Jim was probably my favorite part of the Office. I willing to check out any project I see John Krasinski attached to. The Hollars is directed by and stars Krasinski in a film that definitely is reminiscent of Garden State. It’s a dramedy with a strong human element that I found entertaining and compelling. I give The Hollars the Decent Watch rating.
The Hollars is solid family dramedy
John Hollar (John Krasinski) returns to his small hometown because his mother has been taken to the hospital after collapsing. She is diagnosed with a brain tumor and the family attempts to deal with everything.
The film looks at various stages of relationships. Sally Hollar (Margo Martindale) and her husband, Don (Richard Jenkins) have been together for a long time. He is clearly dependent on her and their relationship seems positive from what we see. Ron Hollar (Sharlto Copley) is divorced and is regretting that choice as he misses his two kids. John has a baby on the way with his girlfriend Rebecca (Anna Kendrick), but is clearly worried about being a dad. His life seems to not be where he was hoping it would be, but his problems are essentially surface level. John’s high school girlfriend Gwen (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) has married Sally’s nurse, Jason (Charlie Day). Jason is clearly concerned that Gwen may still love John even though they’ve recently had a child.
How the relationships impact the story
John is clearly trying to figure out what to do with his life and each of the relationships seem to represent the possible outcomes. He is afraid of where he may end up with Rebecca and the various states of all of the relationships around him only heighten that concern. Sally reveals potential regret of her marriage. Ron’s regret of not staying with his wife weighs on John. It’s essentially a turning point of his life and he’s afraid of making the wrong choice. It’s a familiar story that’s executed very well and in fun ways.
Copley is a tragic character who also serves as some of the comedic relief. The funniest moment is John and Ron in the car when they have to hide suddenly. John’s unable to lay his seat down and my favorite Krasinski humor gets to shine. A bit of awkward mixed with sheer disgust at the situation he’s found himself in. I definitely was laughing and found both characters slightly endearing. Everyone is a little quirky and the conflict is very natural.
In fact, a lot of the elements that would often be more cliche didn’t feel that way in this film. There was a freshness that made this familiar type of movie feel original. It’s definitely worth a watch if you’re a fan of Krasinski or these mid-life passage type of movies. I rented it from Vudu, but I may look to add this to my collection if it’s on sale at some point. Definitely enjoyable and well directed.