If you are a fan of movies like Animal House, The Blues Brothers, Trading Places or even Spies Like Us, then you are a fan of John Landis. His son, Max on the other hand is a talented screenwriter. He has penned quirky hits like “American Ultra” with Jesse Eisenberg and the tween sci-fi drama, “Chronicle.”
His directorial debut, “Me Him Her” is another story. The film, like Max Landis, is an odd cocktail of celebrity and the hipster point of view. His father is a cinema icon and one of my personal favorites, yet he is growing up as celebrity spawn in a weird, backstabbing, rough and tumble business that has given him the opportunity to follow in his fathers footsteps. My jealousy aside, I believe that his perspective, changing as it does every year older he gets, is interesting and tells a good story.
When I sat at my laptop and prepared to take a gander at his freshman effort, I was intrigued. It started off with the requisite Hollywood polish, yet still “Indie cool.”
The story is a simple enough one. Aussie hunk, Luke Bracey (Point Break, G.I. Joe) plays T.V. star Brendan who has suddenly figured out that he is gay. Upon having this epiphany, he dials up his hipster slacker bro, Corey, played by Dustin Milligan , an alum of the 90210 reboot, whom when he is first introduced to us in sitting on a public crapper doing his business!
Brendan gushes to Corey that he is gay and when Corey is not at all surprised, Brendan then replies, “Why didn’t you tell me?” and Corey responds, snarkily “Why didn’t I tell YOU what your sexual orientation was!?!?” Now this is just one example of the hipster wit and point-of-view that permeates the film. In fact, this play on words is repeated by almost every other character in the film, including Brendan’s parents. It was cute the first time, but starts to grate upon future use.
The costumes are spot on hipster and urban gay. Brendan continues to freak out and struggle with his sexuality, meanwhile everyone else in his life including his agents, have known this and take it with a grain of salt, but aren’t ready to let him “come out of the closet.”
Now, I guess to add another obstacle to our hipster hero’s journey, he flies his slacker “bestie,” Corey out to L.A., all expenses paid as his “Emotional Defense.” Corey has other plans and quickly ditches Brendan at a gay bar to hook up with a lesbian-in-mourning over her extremely fresh breakup.
The odd and mostly awkward sex scene between the two, in her beat up econo-box, did more to make me want to hit pause and take a nap, then keep me interested. Now the film is probably way more entertaining for the target demographic. I am a fourty two year old dude, that as much as I want to at times, does not totally get this younger generation. I am having more and more “get off my lawn” moments, but I digress. Good storytelling should be universal and in this film it’s fairly specific.’
To top it all off, young master Landis must have stumbled across his old man’s long lost tabs of LSD, because this film goes off the rails at times into experimental territory. I am not really fond of the artsy, experimental flicks myself, but either make one of those or a LGBT Rom-Com, but not both.
All said and done I would not be too unhappy throwing a buck and half in my local Red Box to watch this, but it will take significantly more directorial prowess than shown in this first effort, to get my oversized behind into a theater seat. But, Max has the gifts of youth, money and celebrity, he’ll bounce back.
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