Wednesday, April 30, 2014

A Case of You: Movie Review

A case of a potentially good and funny movie falling victim to a terribly clichéd romance.
“A Case of You” stars Justin Long as Sam, a writer of bad fantasy/sci-fi/action movies turned into books. He recognizes the lack of creativity and talent that’s required to turn “Teen Vampire” into a book, and is trying to write his own novel of substance. Without much of a life to fall back on, he’s struggling, and his attempts include every humorous cliché after every humorous cliché. 2013

Directed by: Kat Coiro

Screenplay by: Christian Long, Justin Long and Keir O'Donnell

Starring: Justin Long, Evan Rachel Wood

It’s too bad then that screenwriter Justin Long uses every cliché to advance the thin story along without any of the humour that was present at the beginning of the movie. Justin Long has made a career out of playing the best friend/every-man hero of indie romantic comedies, and continues that likable trend here with Sam. As he’s flailing in his writing career, Sam finally sees inspiration in the cute blond girl who works at the coffee shop, and sets out to win her over.

In this age of technology, Sam looks up Birdie Hazel (Evan Rachel Wood) on Facebook and studies her likes and dislikes, and vows to become her perfect man. You will be able to guess what comes next, and your guess will be spot on. Once the romantic comedy plot is on the move, it does not detour at all. His wooing period is a montage of cooking and guitar playing and reading Walt Whitman. And unfortunately, the romance period doesn’t get much better. Long is acting as if he’s in a pure comedy while Wood is acting as if she’s in a quirky drama, when in actuality the movie isn’t either of the above – it’s a very simple romantic dramedy. And the romance between the two quickly falters without any chemistry or intrigue.

The dialogue is actually pretty good. I laughed at a number of very funny and very clever lines at the beginning, but they became much fewer and farther between as the boring romance picked up. It’s too bad that the romance storyline wasn’t well written as there were enough hints in the dialogue and the peripheral characters that it was going to be a good movie.

But then comes the biggest cliché of all when Sam’s novel mirrors his current place in life, but, of course, as the writer, he is oblivious to all of his own faults. In a scene which is supposed to resemble the brilliant scene in “Midnight in Paris” when editor Gertrude Stein points out everything that Gil Pender is oblivious too, Sam takes his work to his editors who point out everything that he doesn’t see – except in this case the editors were wrong and Sam was too. It was just utter nonsense and the story finally slipped away.

Peter Dinklage, Sam Rockwell and Vince Vaughn all appear, and they are all very funny. Unfortunately Rockwell has only one scene, and his hilarious portrayal of Guitar Jesus will likely be forgotten, Dinklage has two funny scenes, and Vaughn gets the high number of three funny scenes, but he plays the aforementioned ill-fated editor.

“A Case of You” has some strong starting points with great dialogue and a mostly capable cast, but the uninteresting romance takes over and the movie has lost.

Similar Titles:

Best Man Down (2012) - Drama, comedy, a marriage, a death and brilliance all around.

Barefoot (2014) - Funny, clever and charming enough to get past the cheesy rom-com elements.