There were several great films at the Florida Film Festival this year, but the standout was definitely Dean. Written, directed, and starring Demetri Martin, Dean is a heartwarming comedy about loss and relationships. There are some great performances by the cast and it’s worth seeing when it is released on June 2.
Dean is an engaging 30-something story
Dean (Demetri Martin) and his father, Robert (Kevin Kline), are still dealing with the loss of his mother and wife. Dean is struggling to deal with the change and to finish his new book of sketches. Robert is ready to sell the house, but Dean is trying to delay the process so he doesn’t have to give up his childhood home.
The cast alongside Martin performs greatly with Kline, Gillian Jacobs, Rory Scovel, and Mary Steenburgen being the standouts. Martin is definitely playing a part written for him, by him, and it works. His comedic style is great in the film and has plenty of moments to shine. However, Kline’s story and connection with Steenburgen is another intriguing plot as he is trying to decide if he’s ready to move on. Their chemistry is strong and has some sweet moments. Jacobs is the love interest of Martin and is so great in the role. She should be in more films as she plays a charming leading lady in this and last year’s Don’t Think Twice.
This film will likely feel familiar as it follows films like Garden State, 500 Days of Summer, and others. This isn’t a bad thing as it creates a relatable story with potentially likable characters. It’s not a film that will appeal to everyone, but the audience at the festival seemed general engrossed throughout the film. Especially the guy adjacent to me who multiple times nudged my elbow, looks to make sure I was laughing, and even asked my opinions on a few moments in the film. All that, with his wife sitting next to him on the other side, but despite the disruptions the film still worked.
Dean worked in every element it tried. Martin played his stoic sarcastic character perfectly and he found a great cast to be around. The comedy is there, but the heart is also. Dean earned the Must See rating.