Wednesday, July 30, 2014

The Angriest Man in Brooklyn: Movie Review


   


The angry routine is dropped along with the comedy in favour of a heartfelt character drama.
Robin Williams is The Angriest Man in Brooklyn and for a dark comedy that casting does seem to be perfection, but Williams’ comedic rant routine is not the highlight of the film. What starts as a dark comedy becomes a drama and most viewers who are expecting to laugh won’t be ready for the dramatic shift in tone. The premise is Dr. Sharon Gill is living the worst day of her life and accidentally tells Henry Altmann that he’s living the last 90 minutes of his life. 2014

Directed by: Phil Alden Robinson

Screenplay by: Daniel Taplitz
Based on film by Assi Dayan

Starring: Robin Williams, Mila Kunis

Robin Williams’ angry routine as Henry Altmann is mostly finished within the first 5 minutes when he then finds out he has a brain aneurism. The next 90 minutes is his determination to reconnect with his son to whom he has not been a good father. Given the lack of comedy and the thin storyline for the title character, the low ratings are not too surprising. But Williams’ comedic and dramatic depths combined with Mila Kunis’ well developed character can provide heartfelt connections and an affecting character study where you least expect it.

As Dr. Sharon Gill, Mila Kunis shows a range and dramatic skill that she has never shown before and gives us a character that is smart and damaged. Damaged enough to be sympathetic; smart enough to be able to find her own way out. She gives Altmann a dramatically reduced and unbelievable death prognostication out of anger, but through a glimpse of his angry and unhappy life, she realizes she needs to change her life by correcting her mistake. So as Henry is making amends across the city, Sharon is trying to track him down.

Henry’s son is played by Hamish Linklater in a role that provides him with an opportunity to show some simple dramatic acting which is on magnificent display in The Newsroom but frequently hidden during his sitcom performances. He is also reconnected with Robin Williams and fans will get some temporary relief after the premature cancellation of The Crazy Ones. Now we just need a movie pairing Robin Williams and James Wolk.

The angry routine of The Angriest Man in Brooklyn is dropped just as quickly as the comedy is, but through the combined talents of Robin Williams and Mila Kunis, a heartfelt character drama emerges. And we get one part character study, one part acceptance of life, one part family drama, and one part quirky family comedy. It’s an odd mix for sure, but for fans of the any of the main actors, it’s a mix that works.
Best Lesser-known of 2014

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Better Living Through Chemistry (2014) - An amusing full-circle story that detours through many different genres.

A Long Way Down (2014) - A new direction can seem uneven, but the original wit, whimsy, humour and insight is intact.

And So It Goes (2014) - Balancing family drama, romance, sex and comedy is a tough act.