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Full Grown Men
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by brianorndorf

"Men Will Be Boys"
1 stars

The concept of the man-child confronting his own immaturity has been prime fodder for screenplays for a few years now, exploring a generation’s woes as it moves from the rush of childhood to the cold reality of adulthood. “Full Grown Men” brings nothing innovative to the conversation, instead treading water in a pool of clichés, trying far too hard to state the obvious. Peter Pan syndrome is a tremendously interesting psychological condition, but “Men” would rather make tiresome action figure jokes and spotlight whining characters. Blah.

Packing up his collectibles, leaving his child and disapproving wife behind, Alby (Matt McGrath) is on his way to the Central Florida theme park Diggityland to recharge his juvenile outlook on life. Without much money, Alby looks up his old best friend Elias (Judah Friedlander) to reconnect, finding his hesitant former pal is already on his way to the park with a group of special needs kids. Traveling across the state, Alby and Elias work out past differences and humiliations, meeting a string of eccentric strangers (including Amy Sedaris, Deborah Harry, and Joie Lee) along the way. Growing increasingly aware of his lifelong misconduct, Alby is forced to confront his behavior as the park destination draws closer.

While professionally assembled and nicely scored by Charlie Campbell, “Full Grown Men” misses its intent by a country mile. Co-writer/director David Munro prefers to play broadly to connect the thematic puzzle, cheating the audience out of an invigorating discussion of stunted maturity by painting with primary colors to reinforce his lackluster impressions of adult development and responsibility.

The main offense is the character of Alby, who is written as a borderline idiot to make the point of immaturity. Clinging to his dolls and youthful idealism under a mop of unwashed hair (a great example of the awful actor “business” that plagues the picture), Alby is the lost soul stuck between the demands of adulthood and the golden memories of youth. Portrayed by McGrath, Alby is a wandering stooge without much of a soul, making it impossible to believe he ever managed to sire a child in the first place, much less remain able to stand up without falling immediately over. It’s an unpleasant performance riddled with indication and eye-rolling situations of emoting. It’s impossible to feel anything for the character, a sensation sustained by Munro, who scripts feebly and borderline offensively -- there’s actually a moment where Alby envies the mentally challenged simply because they can remain in a childlike state for their entire lives.

I recommend a few splashes of Purell after handling this DVD.

At an unsurprisingly scant 75 minutes, there’s not much of a chance for anything of substance to sink in. “Men” burns through its parade of oddballs quickly, getting Alby around his character arc in a hurry, hoping the pros of the piece might score a few laughs along the way. It’s a swift picture, but also alarmingly trite and confused, making the fascinating subject matter hazy and impotent.

link directly to this review at https://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=14343&reviewer=404
originally posted: 09/18/09 09:00:51
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OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2006 Tribeca Film Festival For more in the 2006 Tribeca Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2006 CineVegas Film Festival For more in the 2006 CineVegas Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2007 Florida Film Festival For more in the 2007 Florida Film Festival series, click here.

User Comments

6/15/06 Kristina C. Girls grab your boyfriends, husbands...they just might learn something. 5 stars
6/02/06 Tuntul Obijuwai Saw at Tribeca-excellent-beautiful picture- funny. 5 stars
5/13/06 BB Charming and at times VERY funny. 5 stars
5/07/06 Dana Loved the movie! Very funny!! 5 stars
5/03/06 Hanna Boundy It was a great movie directed and produced by a great uncle and aunt. 5 stars
5/03/06 MLE Beautifully acted and directed, funny and thoughful. 5 stars
5/02/06 Lisa R Lovevd Judah Friedlander but really thought film wasn't spectacular.Sorta just there. 3 stars
5/01/06 Jan Z. Olsen It's a coming of age/maturity story for a late blooming 30ish guy. Along the way, there ar 5 stars
5/01/06 BryanS Actors play their parts well, great photography, funny and thought-provoking 5 stars
4/30/06 wendy saw it at the Tribeca Film Fest. It could be a biggie. See it if you can! 5 stars
4/29/06 AF smart, deep, thought-provoking, beautifully shot 4 stars
4/29/06 rrh well done. very entertaining. 5 stars
4/28/06 KHS Small film, skillfully directed, well-acted, nice imagery 4 stars
4/26/06 rosanna fun and touching - my favorite kind of story 4 stars
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  DVD: 25-Aug-2009


  DVD: 25-Aug-2009

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