You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Be Good

Todd Looby's semi-autobiographical second narrative feature is an incisive if slightly underdeveloped portrait of marital strain.

With:
With: Thomas J. Madden, Amy Seimetz, Tessa Day Looby, Todd Looby, Joe Swanberg, Billy Phelan, Paul Gordon.

Modest but involving, “Be Good” traces the rising discord between a Chicago couple whose economically forced baby-raising approach — he’s the stay-at-home parent, she’s the office clock-puncher — unsettles all parties involved. Todd Looby’s semi-autobiographical second narrative feature is very much in a mumblecore-grows-up vein, complete with a cameo by Joe Swanberg as himself. But nobody’s mumbling in this incisive if slightly underdeveloped portrait of marital strain. Critical support could float a smallscale theatrical release.

After six months’ maternity leave, Mary (Amy Seimetz) returns to her office job very reluctantly. But she’s the major breadwinner for now, as husband Paul (Thomas J. Madden) is a filmmaker of the type that wins festival attention but (so far) little financial reward. He’s finished research on Mexican drug cartels for a screenplay that might really pay off — if only he can get it done. But baby Pearl (Tessa Day Looby) is nap-resistant, leaving few moments for pure creative concentration. Meanwhile, Mary’s separation anxieties find an outlet in her frustration with Paul’s earning-potential and parenting skills. Well acted, observed and crafted, the brief pic ends in unnecessarily curt fashion, compromising without negating its overall impact.

Be Good

Production: An Obrigado production. Produced by Todd Looby, Thomas J. Madden. Executive producers, Looby, Madden, Vladimir Radovanov. Directed, written by Todd Looby.

Crew: Camera (color, HD), Mike Gibisser; editors, Ryan Gould, Looby; music, Dan Macaluso; sound, Frank V. Ross, Lauren Donati; re-recording mixer, Seth Boggess. Reviewed on DVD, San Francisco, Feb. 19, 2013. (In San Francisco Independent Film Festival.) Running time: 70 MIN.

Cast: With: Thomas J. Madden, Amy Seimetz, Tessa Day Looby, Todd Looby, Joe Swanberg, Billy Phelan, Paul Gordon.

More Scene

  • Vera Wang

    Vera Wang, Olivia Munn Celebrate American Designers at Variety, WWD and CFDA's Runway to Red Carpet Event

    Modest but involving, “Be Good” traces the rising discord between a Chicago couple whose economically forced baby-raising approach — he’s the stay-at-home parent, she’s the office clock-puncher — unsettles all parties involved. Todd Looby’s semi-autobiographical second narrative feature is very much in a mumblecore-grows-up vein, complete with a cameo by Joe Swanberg as himself. But […]

  • 'Atlanta' TV show premiere

    'Atlanta Robbin' Season' Will 'Show What Makes the City Tick,' Producer Says

    Modest but involving, “Be Good” traces the rising discord between a Chicago couple whose economically forced baby-raising approach — he’s the stay-at-home parent, she’s the office clock-puncher — unsettles all parties involved. Todd Looby’s semi-autobiographical second narrative feature is very much in a mumblecore-grows-up vein, complete with a cameo by Joe Swanberg as himself. But […]

  • Mr Chow 50th Anniversary celebration

    Mr. Chow 50th Anniversary Party Draws Stevie Wonder, Heidi Klum & More Stars

    Modest but involving, “Be Good” traces the rising discord between a Chicago couple whose economically forced baby-raising approach — he’s the stay-at-home parent, she’s the office clock-puncher — unsettles all parties involved. Todd Looby’s semi-autobiographical second narrative feature is very much in a mumblecore-grows-up vein, complete with a cameo by Joe Swanberg as himself. But […]

  • Paley Center for Media presents They

    African-American Showrunners Talk Strides in TV Representation

    Modest but involving, “Be Good” traces the rising discord between a Chicago couple whose economically forced baby-raising approach — he’s the stay-at-home parent, she’s the office clock-puncher — unsettles all parties involved. Todd Looby’s semi-autobiographical second narrative feature is very much in a mumblecore-grows-up vein, complete with a cameo by Joe Swanberg as himself. But […]

  • 'Annihilation' film premiere

    'Annihilation' Star Jennifer Jason Leigh Responds to Whitewashing Accusations

    Modest but involving, “Be Good” traces the rising discord between a Chicago couple whose economically forced baby-raising approach — he’s the stay-at-home parent, she’s the office clock-puncher — unsettles all parties involved. Todd Looby’s semi-autobiographical second narrative feature is very much in a mumblecore-grows-up vein, complete with a cameo by Joe Swanberg as himself. But […]

  • Rachelle Lefevre Shiri Appleby

    'Unreal' and 'Mary Kills People' Teams Talk Topical Storytelling and an In-Season 'Me Too Moment'

    Modest but involving, “Be Good” traces the rising discord between a Chicago couple whose economically forced baby-raising approach — he’s the stay-at-home parent, she’s the office clock-puncher — unsettles all parties involved. Todd Looby’s semi-autobiographical second narrative feature is very much in a mumblecore-grows-up vein, complete with a cameo by Joe Swanberg as himself. But […]

  • Viola Davis Women in the World

    Viola Davis on #MeToo: 'If You're Dedicated to Change, Let It Cost You Something'

    Modest but involving, “Be Good” traces the rising discord between a Chicago couple whose economically forced baby-raising approach — he’s the stay-at-home parent, she’s the office clock-puncher — unsettles all parties involved. Todd Looby’s semi-autobiographical second narrative feature is very much in a mumblecore-grows-up vein, complete with a cameo by Joe Swanberg as himself. But […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content