Chicago International Film Festival 2011
A Little Closer
Directed by: Matt Pelock
Cast: Sayra Player, Parker Lutz, Eric Baskerville
Running Time: 1 hr 18 mins
Release Date: TBD
PLOT: A mother and her two sons individually discover bits of their sexuality over a short course of time.
WHO’S IT FOR? If you like movies with no beginning or ending, just a middle, then this is for you. If you’re looking for a movie during this festival to really involve you and knock you out, don’t see this one.
A Little Closer lacks focus with its story. At first you think it’s going to be about the family trying to get money together to pay for the eye-screwdriver incident that occurs in the beginning of the movie, and then it feels like it’s about a dumb teenager who doesn’t understand any bit of sexuality. (Perhaps he and the girl from Turn Me On, Dammit! should have a chit chat).
With whatever artful statements A Little Closer is trying to make about adolescence and sexuality using characters in such vacuous situations, it’s still nothing we haven’t seen before. It’s exploration of such topics is only shocking to the movie itself, but not to its viewers.
Thankfully, the movie does have believable chemistry between the mother and her two sons. The acting in the movie can suffer from the movie’s desire to make ever person speak in exaggerated pauses, but in the cases of when the three are together, it feels pretty natural. While the story may not be able to paint much of a picture of the lives that these three have together, the solid chemistry between the three will.
A Little Closer does have one good scene in particular, which involves the mother dancing with her “night mate” to an old slow song. At first it starts off as tedious, but eventually with its sturdy focus on the swaying, close couple, becomes actually effective. And it changes focus between the mother, her friend, and their bodies in a very smooth way. This doesn’t necessarily make the movie worth seeing, but it’s something worth noting.
Thankfully, it’s less than 80 minutes, and all scenes are short for the most part. But with its sparse nature and its lack of any attitude, it feels like a shoulder shrug, with no beginning and no end.
A Little Closer is the kind of movie that would be called “pretentious” if it didn’t feel so common for film festivals – but I’ll just call it boring.
FINAL SCORE: 4/10