Saturday, 8 August 2015

No.226 : Why Stop Now?





Why Stop Now? at the IMDb

There’s no question mark on this movie’s poster but it appears on the title card at the end, and that’s good enough for us!

That poster is all wrong - it also contains the sub-title ‘A funny thing happened on the way to rehab’ and that’s patently false advertising!

Jesse Eisenberg plays Eli, a piano playing prodigy who looks after his drug addled mother while battling with demons of his own. The film opens with his arriving at an important audition for a select school with a cut hand. His teacher tries to calm him down from his hyper state and we are taken back a day to see how we arrived at this situation.

Things start at a teenage party where we witness Jesse’s social awkwardness amongst his peers and especially girls. He manages to impress with some virtuoso piano playing before spewing up - you hardly ever get that with Richard Clayderman! He has some chat with a girl who clearly likes him before heading off home to his demanding mother.

Mum is due to check into rehab the next day and Jesse sees this as a way to get her off his hands so that he can start a new life at his fancy school. Things fall apart however when Mum’s pee tests positive for nothing meaning she can’t get the state sponsored care she needs. A nurse tells her that if she can get high and ‘fail’ the drugs test she can get into the facility and Jesse can get on with his plans.

From here things start to fall apart in a predictable manner. Mother and son try to buy drugs but the dealers are out of stock. Jesse’s command of Spanish allows a deal to be set up but can the drugs be sourced, the mother committed , the girl won and audition passed?

This was an OK ‘one crazy day’ type film but I never felt invested in Jesse’s frantic and random character. I got that he was at least as mixed up as his Mom but it was hard to care when his annoying mannerisms and selfish behaviour were all that we were offered. There was a degree of redemption reached but he still came across as a dick who was making bad choices. I mean who would agree to go and broker a drug deal for some random and dangerous dealers?

That said the dealers were very nice and would no doubt be chased out of business in five minutes in the real world. One was the ‘Sheeeeit’ guy from ‘The Wire’ and he didn’t even do his line! Melissa Leo was pretty good as the hippy Mom but the potential girl friend was as wet as an otter’s pocket and clearly not worth the effort.

The piano playing was good and having the final scenes set amongst a Revolutionary War re-enactment added a bit of colour, but over all this was a bit dull with no laughs at all. Why Stop Now? Because we all got bored after half an hour!

‘W’ Score 14/23
Best Bit - Party Puking Recital

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