‘Ordinary World’ is a film that seems to be trying really hard to be funny and ironic about its subject. Sadly, it’s just a meandering juxtaposition of the young party days and parenthood. There are moments of tenderness and one pretty good song, but mostly it’s just a meandering film. Which might not be that bad if I had really cared about the protagonist much.
One reason I may have had a hard time warming up to the stories meandering Gary is because he is played, in a mixed performance, by real life rock star Billie Joe Armstrong (of the band Green Day). In this movie, he is essentially playing a grown up version of his former self (without getting the years of being famous, of course). The problem is that he goes back and forth between an earnest character and a misguided or phony character. He works most of the time, but quite often drops the ball.
The same can be said for the narrative structure. Mostly, Gary just seems to, quite literally, meander from situation to situation. He is stuck in a life of being a dull dad that constantly dreams of the past. So, he tries to rekindle some of his past glory by throwing a party at the top of the Drake Hotel. The way this party goes is not entirely unbelievable, but seems mostly just a series of convenient situations to expose his transformation into something he doesn’t want to be.
Although, the biggest problem is that the movie doesn’t know how to fully sell its earnest moments or its comedic ones. It doesn’t know which movie it wants to be or how to meld the two into a cohesive whole. The best scene in the movie has Gary playing a song for an ex flame (played by Judy Greer) in a hotel room. It’s a wonderful couple of moments, before the scene is rudely interrupted by a mean spirited comedy sequence. And that’s the movie in a nutshell.
This is why I can’t recommend ‘Ordinary World’ as a whole. It has moments that really work, but the overall experience is a drag. Your time would be better used somewhere else.
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