REVIEW: Being Flynn

23 12 2012

My review of “Being Flynn” might read more like an obituary, and that’s fairly intentional.  I don’t understand, but the Weitz brothers appear to have disassociated themselves entirely with comedy.  They directed the riotous original “American Pie” in 1999, a high the series has yet to top.

And then they moved into the realm of dramedy, a very tough high-wire act to pull off, with “About a Boy” in 2002.  It earned them both Oscar nominations for their script, and the taste of glory for doing something remotely serious seems to have infected and corrupted them.  Last year, Chris Weitz released the dismal and self-righteous illegal immigration drama “A Better Life.”

Now, we’ve lost Paul Weitz with “Being Flynn,” a dramatic with absolutely no dramatic pull.  I don’t think I engaged with the film at all over the course of its 102 minutes – and this movie has Robert DeNiro.  As a writer inflated off his own self-worth, DeNiro is fine because he finally gives himself something to work with – not just another “Fockers” movie or a bit part in “New Year’s Eve.”

I gave the film about 20 minutes or so to engage me, and when it couldn’t manage to draw me in, I decided to only minimally follow the plot.  There are some nice father-son dynamics going on, but they are nothing particularly remarkable.  And I’m also inclined to hate it because I think Paul Dano all but ruins every movie he’s in.  Hack is a strong word … but I almost want to use it.

At least Weitz could have tailored the film towards DeNiro’s to make it play better.  Because when I watched it, I was far more proud of all the laundry I did during its runtime than anything I saw on the screen.

So come home to comedy, Weitz Brothers!  In case you hadn’t noticed, it needs you now more than ever.  C-1halfstars

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