Tribeca 2021: Mattreviews Glob Lessons (2021)

Dramatic comedy Glob Lessons, possibly the most unique title to come from Tribeca 2021, sees real-life friends Nicole Rodenburg and Colin Froeber combine to deliver a story of two totally unmatched entertainers on a tour of the American Midwest delivering low-budget educational plays to uninterested kids. Froeber’s Alan is quiet, introverted and a “mostly-closeted” gay man whereas Rodenburg’s Jesse is boisterous and impulsive but both of them carry secrets from their past that continue to shape and affect their lives in the present.

The reasons for these total strangers working together are explained during the movie which came as a relief as I wasn’t immediately grabbed by the opening acts of the movie. It felt slightly jarring as to why we were following these two particular characters and why they continued to do what they did. Eventually, though, Glob Lessons settles into its strides and begins to unleash sequence after sequence of laughs, emotions, and depth as the story unfolds and the characters open up to us and each other. As mentioned, both carry scars and mental wounds with them that help to define themselves but also to shape the narrative into something bigger than I initially thought it would be. The writing is intelligent and the laughs often loud leading up to a not entirely unpredictable ending but one that ends up being wholly earned.

It came as no surprise when I read that Rodenburg and Froeber had been friends since high school, such is their superb chemistry throughout. You feel the awkwardness, the joy, the pain, and all via their shared performances but individually both are allowed to shine also. In what is essentially a double-act road trip, the performances are up to the task. Additionally, Dean Peterson on DoP duties delivers some luscious shots of the Midwest capturing its natural beauty and allowing the scale to shine through.

Containing timely LGBTQ+ and feminine themes, Glob Lessons juggles its tones well providing a good balance between comedy, drama, and extolling its messages and each aspect combines to create a heartwarming, emotional, and hopeful movie that’ll have you laughing and welling up in equal measures.

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