I don't remember The Station Agent that much but I remember liking it. I didn't love The Visitor so I wasn't sure what to expect with this one. But I shouldn't have been worried. I really liked this film to the point that I might even like it more than The Station Agent. I also had no idea or had forgotten that McCarthy was a co-writer of Up.
I just finished listening to a good interview McCarthy did with Elvis Mitchell where Mitchell pointed out that the theme of loneliness runs throughout all four films that McCarthy has written. McCarthy mentioned that he also really likes writing about characters that find themselves in life changing situations with people they wouldn't necessarily spend time with because of seemingly random events. The interview made me like the film even more.
I found The Visitor a little too contrived at times. This film was just a straight up solid drama. The usual suspects were good of course - Giamatti, Ryan. But I also find Bobby Cannavale funny as hell in whatever I see him in. And any movie with Burt Young AND Jeffrey Tambor in it can't be bad. And the wrestling kid was great. Kind of like Spicoli but with the wrestling moves!
Everything about this film rang true - from the interplay between Giamatti and Ryan at the beginning about her saying shit in front of the children (Hey SHR - stop cursing!) to every facial expression Burt Young or Tambor made to the hilarious secretary was perfect. And the scenes of Giamatti buying a whole pack of cigarettes just to smoke one next to the dumpster behind the convenience store is one of the funniest/saddest moments I've seen in awhile. Perfect.
There's nothing terribly unique about this film but it's a very good one. See it.
Directed by Tom McCarthy
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