THE ONLY LIVING BOY IN NEW YORK (quick) review

Another movie that I had no idea existed until I looked up showtimes for the theaters that I haunt. But I saw a couple of names that I’m really into, so I had to look it up. The movie looks like it’s about this young man who lives a seemingly happy family life. His parents are together and he’s in this kind-of relationship with this girl. But he soon finds out that his dad is having an affair with a younger woman and in his attempts to find out who she is, the two of them possibly strike up a relationship as well. I have no idea how to feel about it. I doubt it’ll be good, but it could be fun if it doesn’t take itself too seriously.

Here’s the cast. Starring, we have Callum Turner (ASSASSIN’S CREED [2016], GREEN ROOM [2016], VICTOR FRANKENSTEIN [2015], and the upcoming FANTASTIC BEASTS: THE CRIMES OF GRINDELWALD [2018]), Kate Beckinsale (UNDERWORLD: BLOOD WARS [2017], LOVE & FRIENDSHIP [2016], and SERENDIPITY [2001]), and Pierce Brosnan (NO ESCAPE [2015], THE MATADOR [2005], 007 GOLDENEYE [1995], and upcoming films THE FOREIGNER [2017] and… God help us all, MAMMA MIA: HERE WE GO AGAIN [2018]). In support, we have Jeff Bridges (HELL OR HIGH WATER [2016], IRON MAN [2008], THE BIG LEBOWSKI [1998], and the upcoming KINGSMAN: THE GOLDEN CIRCLE [2017]), Cynthia Nixon (TV show SEX AND THE CITY [1998 – 2004]), Kiersey Clemons (NEIGHBORS 2 [2016], and upcoming films FLATLINERS [2017] and JUSTICE LEAGUE [2017]), Debi Mazar (LOVELACE [2013], BATMAN FOREVER [1995], and TV show YOUNGER [2015 – ongoing]), and Wallace Shawn (TOY STORY 3 [2010], THE HAUNTED MANSION [2003], and THE PRINCESS BRIDE [1987]).

Now for the crew. Directing is Marc Webb, known for GIFTED (2017), THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN (2012), and 500 DAYS OF SUMMER (2009). Penning the screenplay is Allan Loeb, known for THE SPACE BETWEEN US (2017), COLLATERAL BEAUTY (2016), and ROCK OF AGES (2012). Composing the score is Rob Simonsen, known for GOING IN STYLE (2017), THE AGE OF ADALINE (2015), and TV show LIFE IN PIECES (2015 – ongoing). Finally, the cinematographer is Stuart Dryburgh, known for THE GREAT WALL (2017), ALICE THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS (2016), and NIM’S ISLAND (2008).

Overall, I’m excited for Beckinsale, but my bias level toward her is over 9,000. Immediate ten points to anyone who knows that reference.

This is my honest opinion of: THE ONLY LIVING BOY IN NEW YORK

(SUMMARY)

The story follows Thomas (Callum Turner), a young man who’s got no real direction in his life. His only consultation is his odd, but wise old neighbor W.F. Gerald (Jeff Bridges). Things get complicated in his family life when he finds out that his father Ethan (Pierce Brosnan) is having an affair on his mother Judith (Cynthia Nixon) with a much younger woman named Johanna (Kate Beckinsale). Before long, he confronts her and the two become lovers themselves.

(QUICK REVIEW)

I’m conflicted. On the one hand, I know it’s not very good, but on the other hand, I don’t really hate it and still found something things to be okay.

I think the acting is fine, but the characters are written so wishy-washy and events are rushed a little too quickly to truly take anything seriously. When Thomas finds out his dad is cheating on his mom, it’s barely three scenes later before he finds himself in love with that same woman, who decides to have an affair with him as well. None of this is explored, it’s just pure sex for the sake of it, but Thomas is calling it “love.” The sad thing is, whatever development this movie couldn’t do, they cheated via narration and told the audience that “She’s high society and hot for an older man,” and that “He was a distraction from the stresses of the future,” or whatever bullshit poor Bridges was forced to spew. And that’s what ultimately cripples the film. The whole crux of the story is: daddy cheats on mommy, but the mistress cheats on daddy with the son. All that matters is the men porking the hot British chick. There’s actually potential for both drama or comedy, but the movie isn’t saying anything to justify the drama, and there’s not too many comedic moments to justify a comedy. The characters involved get no real screen time together for us to really get to know them, so we’re never truly connecting with any one person, let alone the group, and this applies to the entire flick. Plus, character motivations are tossed right out the window, making a vast majority of the characters either unlikable or utterly boring.

Is the movie all bad? No. As I said, the acting is enjoyable, especially from Bridges, who is probably the comedic center of this borefest. Beckinsale is delightfully slutty, and the connections with other characters feel genuine, like between Thomas and his mother, Thomas and Gerald, those are all fine enough. Plus, I enjoy the ending with certain expectations being played with.

Overall, I can’t claim this movie is good and I can’t say it’s a movie I’d really revisit, but it’s did have a few elements that kept me interested and wondered where everything was going to go. I didn’t care enough to want to see it played out for me twice, but it was serviceable enough. I’m not sure if I’m going to recommend this in theaters. I know I’m in the minority of how much I enjoyed this flick, but even I can acknowledge it’s not all that good, despite having actors that I’m a particular fan of. Maybe it’s worth a rental, but if you decided to pass on it, you’re not missing anything special.

My honest rating for THE ONLY LIVING BOY IN NEW YORK: a weak 3/5

theonlylivingboyinnewyorkposter

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3 thoughts on “THE ONLY LIVING BOY IN NEW YORK (quick) review

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