Ritual dictates that families come together on sacredly observed occasions—holidays, birthdays, funerals, other markers of time like new homes or babies. They serve the more obvious function for gathering, but they also distract us from the ground crumbling beneath our feet; we demand that the ritual of things that stay the same as a means to not be suffocated by unavoidable, irrevocable change. Such is the dark stuff of being alive at the core of Stephen Karam’s The Humans, the Tony Award winning and Pultizer shortlisted play that he now adapts for the screen. It’s a taxing and unsettling debut film about how the things that keep us together are insufficient shelter from the things that pull us apart.Continue reading “In Review: The Humans”
Jonathan Levine’s Snatched flies in with a lot of wide-reaching and intelligent comic talent and only asks them to make a mess. Goldie Hawn’s cinematic return after a fifteen year absence is cause for immediate celebration, but pairing her with Amy Schumer as a mother-daughter team promises uproarious comic gold. The resulting film is greatly indebted to their ever-present charms and natural comic timing that it never matches.
Worse yet, it gives them a fairly rote vehicle and only asks its actresses to do so much, seldom tapping into their best assets or capacity for genuine feeling. It’s as if the film doesn’t know what it has on its hands.