Friday, November 29, 2013

C.O.G.: Movie Review


A dichotomous journey through religion and homosexuality.
“C.O.G.” is the journey of one man based on the real life journey of writer David Sedaris. David (Jonathan Groff) is an academically-minded man in his twenties who has destroyed every relationship with his own arrogance. He’s not entirely aware of it, as he thinks he’s on a journey with his girlfriend after they read The Grapes of Wrath and decided to get back to nature. But really his ex-girlfriend had no such journey in mind. 2013

Directed by: Kyle Patrick Alvarez

Screenplay by: Kyle Patrick Alvarez

Starring: Jonathan Groff

Now on his own, he’s determined to be true to himself. This involves sharing his nihilistic, anti-religious views with anyone who dares to have a conversation with him, but not being totally open with his homosexuality.

He finds himself working in an orchard which, as you can guess, involves people who have a relationship with God, people on the conservative side who don’t get the gay culture, and people who don’t like pedantic intellectuals teaching them about real literature. David doesn’t fit in very well.

I loved the first half of the film. The more he mocked religion, the more I loved it. But as David finds himself in trouble (due to not fitting in very well and due to his ability to destroy any relationship he has with his arrogance), the film starts taking on a different tune. One which seems to be the exact opposite of what drew people in in the first place.

While it could just be that I didn’t get whatever they were trying to say, the second half of the film seems to go against what people would have liked in the first half. Those that would like the messages in the ending probably would have been turned off by David’s first anti-religious rant (which comes in the opening scene). And, to me, that would lead to a film with no audience remaining.

“C.O.G.” stands for Child of God and you are going to have to have an extremely open mind to all points of view, both pro and anti organized religion and to sexual orientation, to enjoy this film. Jonathan Groff had a great point-of-view for the character. David was extremely un-self-aware, but Groff has enough charisma that we're still interested in him. I appreciate him taking on a character like this, but I have a feeling I wasn’t supposed to have enjoyed his character as much as I did at the beginning as he moves too far away from that in the remainder of the film.

Similar Titles:

Are You Here (2013) - Here, there, life is everywhere.

Free Samples (2012) - A directionless character in a mostly directionless film supported by good actors and some funny lines.

Electrick Children (2013) - A unique approach to a teen pregnancy leads us down new but frustrating and uncomfortable paths.