Film Review: ‘Generation Um…’

Generation Um ...

This scrappy, draggy character study is noteworthy primarily as a showcase for its lead actor's most quintessentially Keanu performance in years

Few actors can eat a cupcake with the existential despair of Keanu Reeves in “Generation Um … ,” a slapped-together sub-mumblecore exercise that at times suggests a feature-length expansion of 2010’s “Sad Keanu” meme. Following an overgrown lost boy on his plot-free peregrinations around New York over 24 hours, often in the company of two similarly lost girls, this scrappy, draggy study in soul-crushing failure and disappointment is noteworthy primarily as a showcase for its lead actor’s most quintessentially Keanu performance in years — a master class in brooding, taciturn non-emoting that will account for what little commercial interest the film generates in VOD and limited-theatrical release.

Even by the very loose standards of all the barely scripted, lazily assembled portraits of urban wastrels that have proliferated in recent years, Mark L. Mann’s writing-directing debut feels particularly aimless in the way it serves up improvised blather, meandering observational lensing, direct-to-camera confessionals and certain other conventions of microbudget indie cinema.

After a long night of heavy drinking and partying, sullen escort-service driver John (Reeves) drops off his two young charges — noisy, fiery brunette Violet (Bojana Novakovic) and melancholy blonde Mia (Adelaide Clemens) — at their Lower East Side apartment, then goes on a long jaunt around the city. He hangs out at his own grimy excuse for a bachelor pad, where he’s temporarily hosting his annoyingly upbeat cousin (Jonny Orsini), who proves completely oblivious to John’s inconsolable gloom. John rides the subway, peers in store windows, devours that aforementioned cupcake and, in a rare, inexplicable moment of action, steals a digital videocamera from a gang of hula-hooping cowboys (only in New York).

This theft, not the film’s last, provides an excuse for a round of boozy, wannabe-intimate truth-telling as John finds Violet and Mia again, turns the camera on them and coaxes them to spill the darkest secrets of their battered, sexually ravaged souls. But there’s nothing revelatory in these self-baring dialogues, no new insights in terms of human degradation, psychological depth or movie-within-a-movie deconstruction. The actresses do have their moments, rather impressively in Novakovic’s case, as her shrill histrionics in the early going make her the hardest to take of the film’s central trio.

On the plus side, Reeves’ camera presence is as effortless as ever; his cherished persona as an avatar of shaggy-haired blankness, too absent from the screen of late, finds an ideal fit in this inexpressive, inarticulate drifter. Mauricio Rubinstein lensed the picture primarily on Super 16, and his images have a welcome tactility and graininess, lending a bright-hued vibrancy to this snapshot of one Gotham day. The soundtrack is an atmospheric blur of background noise, a Fall on Your Sword score and, in an ill-advised bid for relevance, overheard radio chatter about our troubled economic times.

Film Review: ‘Generation Um...’

Reviewed online, Pasadena, Calif., May 2, 2013. Running time: 96 MIN.


A Phase 4 Films release of a Voltage Pictures presentation of a Company Films production in association with Film Capital Europe Funds and Picture Perfect Corp. Produced by Lemore Syvan, Alison Palmer, Caroline Kaplan. Executive producers, Jared Ian Goldman, Zev Foreman, Nicolas Chartier, Cassian Elwes.


Directed, written by Mark L. Mann. Camera (Technicolor, Super 16/HD video), Mauricio Rubinstein; editor, Melody London; music, Fall on Your Sword; art director, Stephanie Carroll; set decorator, Lisa K. Nilsson; costume designer, Abby O'Sullivan; sound (Dolby Digital), Jeff Pullman; supervising sound editor/re-recording mixer, Coll Anderson; associate producer, Don Julien; assistant directors, Julien, John Tyson; casting, Kerry Barden, Paul Schnee.


Keanu Reeves, Bojana Novakovic, Adelaide Clemens, Jonny Orsini, Daniel Sunjata.

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  1. The banner ad for this review was for the show New Girl. So am I now supposed to take this review seriously. Come on Variety!

  2. Gordon Bressack says:

    The most surprising thing about Generation…Um has been the critical response to the film. I am about to post a SPOILER because that is the point of my posting. Almost every single review has stated in the first sentence that Keanu Reeves plays an escort driver for two prostitutes thus giving away the surprise and the real point of the film. You think you are watching a movie about three aimless people drifting through a pointless life, taking drugs, drinking, having meaningless sex only to discover in a terrific reveal that the party they are going to is a room full of men and these two girls are in fact prostitutes. One is struck with two simultaneous thoughts: “Oh, they aren’t purposeless people, they have jobs” and “How sad that they are sex workers.” The critics all seem to think that Writer/Director Mark Mann has made this film by mistake. But his in-your-face cupcake eating scene announces to the viewer that this filmmaker wants you to watch closely, that the magic of this story occurs in the supposedly minor details. It’s an odd, risk-taking movie and you may find your patience tested but the ending remarkably puts everything we have seen in a totally fresh perspective and makes the entire viewing experience interesting and ultimately entertaining. To those critics who poo poo the style and substance of this film I would simply say watch some Paul Morrisey films from the 70s or a Fassbinder film or two and perhaps you will finally get it.

  3. Indira Melphasi says:

    I just watched generation Um… and despite the overwhelmingly negative reviews from “critics”, I actually found it quite a powerful statement- kind of a slow moving portrait of a dark mood, a lingering dissection of feelings of weakness and powerlessness– it was hypnotic and flawed and a completely unique piece of cinema…kind of a character study of a hangover in a way, both the real kind and the spiritual kind…


It is also exciting and refreshing to me to see such a huge movie star like Keanu Reeves play such a vulnerable role in such a small risky piece of art– I’m wondering why all of these “critics” seem to have such an issue with this film and the filmmaker (Mark L Mann) who made it- seems to me that this sort of project should be encouraged rather than universally condemned by people who tout themselves as authorities on the world of cinema. 

    As Zach Galifianakis so eloquently said in Due Date: I think the “critics” need to “check it before they wreck it.”


in addition to Justin Chang’s insulting and superficial review of this film, I think it’s only fair to suggest checking out the many thoughtful REVIEWS by ACTUAL PEOPLE on IMDB and iTunes-
so that it can be known that Chang’s unpleasant attitude toward this film might not include everyone…

and people can be encouraged to not miss out on experiencing this film for themselves.




Don’t force it, 11 May 2013 

United Kingdom

9/10 Stars

I’m not sure what the expectations were
with this film, but I’ve been surprised by some of the reviews.
Within the first few minutes of the movie starting, I felt a
familiarity with all the characters. I can’t say I particularly liked
 them, but I recognised the three disaffected lonely people finding
some kind of solace in each other’s marginal and dysfunctional lives.
As someone else mentions, the film reads like a documentary: the
dialogue feels very improvised and the film is not so much a
plot-driven story, but rather a slowly unfolding short-lens view of
 three emotionally immobile people finding some kind of connection
together over the course of a single night. Laconic, thoughtful and
locked in a state of stasis, Keanu eats up the character of John, an
inarticulate downtown 40-something whose job is chauffeuring two
drugged-up young escorts, Violet (Bojana Novakovic) and Mia (Adelaide
Clemens) around town. The pace remains even throughout, seducing you
into feeling you’re watching a one shot movie, as the night brings
ever-increasing and intimate interaction with each character’s search
for an emotional cleanse. Noisy though the growing pains are, this
they receive, however transient


A Day in the Life, 10 May 2013
United States

    9/10 Stars

Initially after watching I was confused
as I could not understand what was happening to the characters in the 
movie. Once I finished the movie, it began to make sense. I was 
surprised. This is not a movie that one understand initially after
viewing. It is like peeling an onion. After watching the movie twice,
I have learned a bit more about the what the symbolism means. Each 
member of this pseudo family reveals a little bit more about
themselves, which takes time to develop. The director and the actors 
are patient as the undertones of the movie are revealed one by one.
It is through this patience that one learns of the real issues that 
face each member of this cast.


Inspired by Uninspired Characters, 9
May 2013

7/10 Stars

    *** This review may contain spoilers

The film captured my attention, not
with action or adventure as one might expect of a film starring Keanu
 Reeves (although there was an adventurous moment or two that kept me
on edge for resolution), but with its ability to draw out emotion and
deeper “meaning of life” type thoughts from the viewer 
through character development. It was also a clever concept; it was a
documentary-style film — taking the viewer through a day in the life
of someone who, in turn, is capturing a day in the life two others –
camera on camera action. It is not a familiar or usual “day in a 
life” for the majority of population, but many of the thoughts
and feelings expressed by the characters are familiar or at least
have been at some point or another in our lives. 

The film’s
viewers discover the lead characters’ inner thoughts through
conversational dialog and even question-answer dialog as the
documenter (20-30-something male) is filming the two documentees 
(20-30-something females), delving deeper and deeper into the girls
minds, and thus, the story became more and more interesting.
Furthermore, the documenter was seemingly finding inspiration in his
efforts to learn more about the girls’ thoughts and possibly even
learning more about himself. What was more captivating was during the 
many moments of silence, no dialog, the characters’ expressions and 
actions revealed even more about their thoughts and feelings. I
started to develop a connection with the characters, even though my
life is not at all like any of theirs. This film is complexity masked 
in simplicity – it is easy to follow but has complex themes and
feelings – thus making it hard to stop watching. 

the movie, I developed various feelings for the lead characters,
leading lives that I could not and wish not imagine for myself, but
knowing that there are people out there in such environments and 
predicaments as the settings in this film. I found myself wanting to
 know more and more about the characters. My feelings for them were
first of disgust due to lack of empathy for their plight. Then, as 
the film went on, learning more about the lead characters’ inner
thoughts and emotions as well as lack of emotion, my feelings morphed
into that of hopelessness and sorrow for them, developing a genuine
caring for them. Out of my feelings of hopelessness and sorrow came 
hope — hope that the characters will find their way out of their
loneliness and discontentment, thinking that the three of them were
drawn together by their shared sorrowful feelings and longing for
something different, something more, and it’s the three of them that
 will pull each other out of their plight by inspecting each other 
more closely “under a camera” — discovering each other and 
in effect, discovering themselves.

The three lead characters are
related on more and several levels than just friends (with possible 
benefits). In watching the film, one learns that there are layers of
meaning and purpose in friendship and ideas on how to discover them,
which I believe we all can find inspiration in and benefit from in
our lives. 

I did indeed find this film somewhat inspirational
even though it was not a hopeful resolve. And say kudos to the actors
and director for portraying uncomfortable-to-watch characters in an 
uncomfortable setting, and furthermore, for transforming the 
”uncomfortable” into feelings for them and maybe even 
thoughts we don’t usually think in our own lives that may make us
think more.


Some of those who wander ARE lost., 27
August 2012

 from The Hague, Netherlands

7/10 Stars

Low user ratings are to be expected
when the names of Keanu and Bojana fuel edge-of-your-seat 
anticipation. This however documents (partly videotaped by Keanu’s
character) a 24 hour stretch in the lives of three people who are
beyond clueless, they don’t even care if there is such a thing as
clue, purpose or direction in life. They don’t even bother to define 
the relationships amongst the 3 of them. They don’t even care to find
words to describe their feelings and their lack of any accomplishment
gives new meaning to the word void. I do believe this to be a
socially relevant document of the lives of some of the 20- or
30-something generation who are one level below the entitled ones.
It’s there, it’s real, no comedy nor drama, but it did powerfully 
communicate awareness to me as a viewer.

    breathtakingly authentic, 8 January

from Germany, Berlin

10/10 Stars

*** This review may contain spoilers

I try not to make this a spoiler, but I
have to say that they might as well have called it a
documentary…though the actors are mere placeholders for a
phenomenon i guess. I have travelled a great deal around this world
 and had nights like the one shown in this movie quite many everywhere 
i went, though most of the people involved were not sexworkers. 
Uncountable conversations with glasses of whine, mostly without
 cameras though ;-),with people like me, randomly ending up in the
same space for a limited period of time, living in the “grey
zone”- a.k.a life. This film is a mere description of how blurry
time, space and relation to what is perceived as reality and the
 suffering within it becomes sometimes, when you are stuck between 
awareness and maturity. My compliments to the director, the girls and 
Mr. Reeves. Somebody seems to have understood something. And its 
funny too!!!


Edgy NYC indie flick, 27 December

 from United States

10/10 Stars

*** This review may contain spoilers

I can believe that this movie wont be 
released at your local multiplex but it is an interesting account of
 24 hours in the life of sex workers in NYC. Not an X rated movie by
any stretch but more of a personal exploration of people that wind up
in this situation and how their day goes. There are some edgy scenes 
of a sexual nature and when that includes one with Keanu Reeves that
is a real attention getter. He is so achingly damaged and sweet in 
this role. Through his curiosity, and his sincerity, and his stolen
movie camera, he is able to reveal some of himself and be a real
friend for the 2 young women sex workers, without judging them. Not a
feel good film. More about gritty pathos on the seamy side of NYC. I
 dug it.

    The movie is not just for fun, 2 May

from Saint Petersburg, Russia

9/10 Stars

    This movie shows the life that you 
don’t want to know about. There is no desire to know it or to
remember anything that happens in this life. Even though sometimes 
many of us feel the same way as the main characters do, regardless of 
what we are. We are ready to judge people, not many of us try to
understand the deep reasons of their behavior. If we draw an analogy 
with The Matrix, John’s destiny is a story of a lonely person who 
didn’t know he was the one. Nobody believes in him, and he stops to
believe in himself. But he starts revealing after realizing how much 
the two girls need him, even though these two are condemned by the
society. Watching the movie was hard for me. I had a feeling that I’m
watching a documentary. It confirms actors and director’s high level
 of professionalism


”Generation Um…” is a very 
subtle and clever movie with fine actor’s work., 2 May 2013

from Russia

    10/10 Stars

*** This review may contain spoilers

    Generation Um…” is a very 
subtle and clever movie with fine actor’s work. All characters of 
this story are very important even if they are absent in the shot 
(John’s mother for example). Each role has certain semantic meaning.
So what this movie is about? According to official short reviews it
is about “three adults during a single day in New York City, one
filled with sex, drugs, and indecision”. But this is only the 
tip of the iceberg. The thoughtful viewer who isn’t interested in
action only, but in psychological and philosophical dramas also, will
dig deeper. And after that it becomes obvious that the movie is kind
of a very frank and shrill confession. Why the characters of the 
movie come to such point in their lives? The reasons are deep mental 
wounds, childhood complexes and bad experiences. And life apathy and
inner uncertainty as a result of it . It leads to the point when the 
adult person drives himself or herself into a corner and immures all 
exits, destroying thereby all their life. The movie is about the
importance of understanding yourself, throwing the past mistakes’
weight off the shoulders, and forgiving people that caused those
painful scars on your heart. The most important is to forgive and
just love yourself at least a little, and try to spread the wings as
 a new nation and start over with a clean slate. It is still very 
important to understand that it’s possible to start a new life at any
 age. That’s why the main characters are in different age categories
(around 20, 30 and 40 years old). As it is written in medical 
literature, “the forming of the positive motivation can increase 
probability of the patient’s recovery”. We can see their 
recovery even though it’s painful and uncertain. Keanu Reeves notes
in the interviews that the ending of the movie gives hope for the 


What is the movie about?, 2 May

from Ukraine

8/10 Stars

    What is the movie about? It’s about 
loneliness in a crowd, probably. About pain. About hope. About 
proximity. The movie is about just one day, and about the whole life.
It’s as little as very much at the same time. The movie starts and 
ends same — the three friends come home from work. But the things 
that occurred during the day changing their attitude to themselves 
and to their own lives. They learn to trust. John has the rare talent 
to ask short questions and to listen carefully. It turns out to be
very important, when you just listen and don’t teach, don’t advise,
don’t bring something up. John starts video taping as entertainment 
and ends up as a confession. And confession always clears the soul.
Mark Mann shot a very intimate movie, and brought the viewer 
completely into the world where Mia, Violet and John live. This world 
isn’t joyful and it isn’t sad. It’s real. The movie is for those who
appreciate sincerity on the screen and who aren’t afraid to pass
others pain through themselves. It’s for those who try to understand 
people living behind the standard morals. The favorite dialog in the
movie is: – Just don’t hate me because I’m beautiful. – I don’t hate
 you. I’m just confused. Favorite shot: is the park water fountain.

    A Good Art House Film, 28 April

from United States

8/10 Stars

*** This review may contain spoilers

I decided to write a small review on
this movie that I was able to watch recently. “Generation Um”
is an art house film. I think that is one of the reasons why people
 gave it such a low rating. I mean it’s interesting how someone would
 expect the movie to be one thing and then get something different 
from what they expected. This is art house, people, that is why 
certain camera moves were used, or certain views, or certain cuts. 
Art house films usually look like some guy next door filmed it and
then montaged it in his garage. But it does not mean the story
doesn’t have a logic or purpose. I personally liked to look at these 
three people doing their things and see by their action what they are 
thinking. I mean, I just find it interesting to look at things as 
they are without having a simple direction that tells me “here’s
 what’s going on and here’s what she is feeling”, you know. Like 
when Mia goes for a walk and buys the flowers. Isn’t it an example of
 what she feels after going out last night and dealing with all those
men who just wanted to use her? She didn’t need the flowers, she just
 wanted to make herself feel better because the guy at the store was
so nice to her. But to see that you have to look carefully while 
watching. Or the scene with Violet and John when they hug each other.
That was brilliant. How somebody would give it a 3 or 1? Did you see
her face when they were standing between walls looking at each other? 
It’s like she is literally begging for help. Her eyes and just the
 whole expression tells you “Please do something!”. Oh, that 
was brilliant. And John, you can see he is ready to do anything for
her right now but he is just standing there and staring at his shoes.
I mean, these people just don’t used to it. They used to yell at each 
other, not hug each other. So they finally hug. And you don’t need 
any background music or special camera moves to show you how 
emotional this moment is. And there is a lot of moments like this.
Seeing how they live these 24 hours can give you an information about 
how they probably lived before, why they got themselves into this and
 what hopes they have for the future.


Do we feel differently?, 3 May 2013

from Russia

9/10 Stars

*** This review may contain spoilers

    After watching the film I was thinking 
for a long time about this story, or should I say preview of the
 story, its background, it did not leave me indifferent. The
 characters fell deep into my heart and took their places there. I 
think I’m going to carry them with me everywhere as my life goes.
Were we really so far? Here is Mia, who is building an emotional wall
around the experiences of her childhood, and here is Violet, who is
feeling the need for the warmth and intimacy of another person, all
 at the time when she dared to be herself, and have stepped through
the fear that John will not understand and alienate. And here is
John, who was looking at the world, the lives of other people from 
the outside. This hug wasn’t easy for him, maybe for the first time 
in his life someone needed him so desperately. Did I ever have to
 worry about such things myself? No, my life is far from life of these 
people. But does it make us feel different from one another? While
 all three of them grow roots, I close my eyes and I see Mia buying 
daisies. Funny, I love daisies. It seems like this flower is all open 
for everyone to see, but it definitely is something mysterious about
it. Surprisingly, John sees the water just the way I see it. To me 
it’s something always changing but staying same at the same time. I 
guess that’s it for right now. Let’s see what else the movie 
characters show me…


It’s complicated, 10 April 2013

Vienna, Austria

7/10 Stars

    I really didn’t want to watch this
movie. The low rating is an absolute no go. But thanks to some user
comments i saw a potential.

I’m happy that i took the chance.
It’s a movie about life in a certain age – my age. Maybe thats 
the reason i liked the movie. It was true. I had a good feeling
 watching it. I didn’t always like the way the camera was moving, but
in the end it gave the movie an innocent touch.

This movie takes
 you into the life of some people you get to know just a little bit.
it’s like going to a party and listening to other peoples
 conversations without yourself interrupting. It’s a pure view of the
world in the eyes of John, Mia and Violet. It’s so pure you see their
 skin ‘unphotoshopped’ and thats refreshing.

I often feel being 
betrayed or lied about how things look like, how people look like or
 how locations, bars, streets look like. All the lights, all the make
up, all the color boosts… sometimes its just too much.

To view 
a movie about kind of a real life story – it’s a nice idea to do that
with real faces, real streets, real situations. And with that comes
no explosion, no special close up event, no beautiful candle light
 sex scene… etc..

That said, this movie is definitively 
underrated. If you like Lost in Translation or Vicky Christina
 Barcelona – you may like this movie too. Just don’t expect beautiful
 colors, perfect romance or a Hollywood type movie in general.

Good movie.

    Not one of Keanu’s
cineplex-type efforts., 8 February 2013

 from Australia

8/10 Stars

*** This review may contain spoilers

    I had mixed expectations going in to 
this film. On the one hand, there was the generally poor showing on 
IMDb (low rating, several dismissals as boring/uneventful), the 
relatively bland poster (which conveys little except that the film 
features three beautiful people) and a pretty uninspired title. But
 on the other hand, I enjoyed ‘Henry’s Crime’ and ‘…Pippa Lee’ a
lot, and so the idea of another non-action-based Keanu film seemed 
like a reasonable prospect. In the end, I was very glad a took a 
punt. I liked this film a lot.

’Generation Um…’ relies very
 much on character, dialogue and story, rather than action or 
suspense. Anyone going in looking for a Keanu cineplex-type effort
 will certainly be surprised – and probably disappointed. The pace is
very deliberate – but it’s all relevant, and it all contributes to 
the film’s effectiveness. If a film is to convey the sense of a 
lifestyle convincingly, it has to follow its subjects through the
 dull, solitary periods as well as the lively ones. This film does 
just that and as a result provided a comprehensive picture of the 
three main characters. You are left with a strong sense of how each
of the three got to where they are, how they feel about where they
 are and how their lives might play out from this point.

relatively simple story unfolds in just the right way. The
 significance of the opening scene, and the way each of the three 
characters spends the following day is only revealed toward the end.
The way these things were revealed was great – suddenly, each 
character’s behaviour throughout the rest of the film (even the 
vacuousness of the first few scenes, which was pretty hard to take 
the first time through) made good sense. Then the film ends more or 
less where it started – and you’re left with the feeling that these 
people are doomed to carry on behaving the same way day after day 
until age, physical decay or poverty pushes them in an even less 
appealing direction.

 All in all, a very satisfying film. I 
recommend it highly.

    Generation Um, 3 May 2013 

    9/10 Stars

    We often want to see emotional 
positivity, superficial pleasure, sometimes deceptive impressing
 movies only. But life is more cruel, more actual, and more real at
 the same time. In the movie “Generation Um” I see 
unattractive kind of life, but suddenly I understand that even in the 
heavy moments of this people should keep hope and remain human. This 
movie is a narration about hope which helps us to live and go
further. The film shocked me, because obviously lonely heroes and it
is so close to all of us, but the hope and love of life in the last 
scene of the film talks about the need to believe in a better and 
humane in all situations.


This film had to be made., 3 May

from Russia

10/10 Stars

*** This review may contain spoilers

    I am afraid I’ll start saying in a
round about way to reveal my thoughts about the film… A person is 
moving through the life blindly by touch. We always try to create
 comfort around ourselves, more often we do it unconsciously and
instinctively. If we like something we want it to stay with us, if
 something irritates and makes us angry – we try to distance from it
or leave it. Sometimes we feel by touch, sometimes – by heart. The
 older we are, the more comfortable place we get. Even a loser has an 
old beloved sofa which he enjoys sleeping on after a hard day; he’s
got a couple of good friends with whom he would have a drink or two.
So, we have intimate friends and family, our fixed ways and favorite
 food, our homes developed to our tastes; someone is lucky to have a 
favorite job. We know well what type of people we’d better avoid or 
never go to bed with. Thus, we create our own world in which we feel
ourselves relatively comfortable, someone feels more comfortable and
 someone less. But it is a trap to the soul. We are too busy with our
everyday life, just with the things around us. We can’t reach to a 
point where we could see eternal depth of the universe, we can’t even 
feel the height of the place where we are standing. The holy 
mysteries of life pass by. But when a person starts asking questions,
searches someone’s heart, tries to understand people from inside,
they can save themselves from the consuming emptiness and avoid the 
feeling of useless life and going nowhere. The search is the only way 
to be saved. This is my perception of the world which I saw in the
film all in details. That is why the film is a true shock to me.
”Generation Um” is like a cake layered with signs and
 symbols, questions and answers. The film has many points, the most
ironical one I would put like this: no matter how long you will
 search in your heart (conversations between friends throughout the 
film), but you might be f***ed up by your life one day anyway (the 
girls at the hotel). Even though the things are this way, there is 
always a place for happy moments (the scene in the credits). But this 
harsh generalization isn’t correct for that film, because every
episode of it, even a small one, has a high concentration of 
meaningfulness and it generates multitude microcosms. This film had 
to be made. It is a guide for those who lost the point and depth of
their lives, stepped on the way of search. “Generation Um”
says to them that they are not alone


loved it, loved it, loved it., 22 April
 from Romania

9/10 Stars

    an almost unexpected surprise in
today’s world focused only on feel-good movies. a multi-layered 
little gem. a story about loneliness, disappointment, pain, despair,
and ways to cope with all that. a story about human connection and 
lack thereof. a story about games of power, seduction and domination.
a meditation on how people behave in front and behind a camera. And 
the camera becomes a fourth character; a silent witness that’s
 central to the plot; a fourth player that changes the rules of the 
game. it’s a story about finding hope – or not. no,it’s not 
everyone’s cup of tea. yes, it will make most viewers uncomfortable.
but those who have patience with this movie will be rewarded with a 
story that sticks with them for days. it’s haunting. as long as such
 movies can still be made, there’s still hope. it means the 
moviemakingmagic is still alive.

    Um…Well I liked it, 29 April
from United States

    7/10 Stars

*** This review may contain spoilers

    despite the negative reviews this movie
has been getting on here. I actually like this movie and just wasn’t
 all that bored with it. In fact I found this movie to be random but 
still got my attention and interest. It’s basically about 3 people’s
typical mundane life in New York City. And although for the most part 
the movie appear to be mundane, the realism and certain aspects of 
this movie makes things interesting. Watching this movie was sort of
 like watching the days and the life of Keanu Reeves if he didn’t 
become a actor. In fact this is one of those movies for a actor or
 actress where no acting is required. It just seemed like for the most 
part Keanu Reeves was just being himself. Except a much more dyslexic
 version of himself and probably much more quieter. In fact he sort of
reminded me of “Napoleon Dynamite” in this film. And he has
 2 annoying slutty girls that has daddy issues tagging along with him
and they basically share everything with each other. In fact Keanu’s
character is sort of a pimp in this movie, just not one of those 
really bossy ones. And the girls are the one’s that boss him around.
 Anyways Keanu’s character John in this just does some random stuff in 
this movie like eating a cupcake and stealing a camera and such. Than
 goes around filming random stuff but these traits brings out his character. Not a lot and he has a mysterious vibe thing going on 
because he doesn’t really talk much or about himself. But than again 
that is basically Keanu Reeves himself. Anyways the most interesting
 part about this movie is when Keanu starts interviewing the two girls
 he is with. And when it comes to these two slutty junkie and smug 
girls. One of them is this extrovert and the other sort of introvert.
And when it came to the actresses one of them reminded me of Carla
Gugino and the other Michelle Williams. And share some real, raw and
interesting inner thoughts. One of it is how one of the girls share
her thoughts about how “men are after power, while girls are
after love”. As opinionated as the sharing of thoughts between 
the characters maybe it was still interesting and intriguing. This is
 one of those raw movies where realistic acting is involved and seems 
like the actors and actresses are basically doing ad-lib. And just 
seem like real everyday people in NYC and how they act amongst each
 other. I can see why some audiences would not like this film but I
liked it for what it is. It’s about the mundane and sort of average 
life of a New York City guy and girls connecting with one another 
while showing a bit of each others inner thoughts and scars. It’s not
 one of the best movies I seen of this type but it’s a well made one.


iTunes User Reviews


5/5 stars

by 11milez – April 28, 2013

Few films lately have hung on to me so
tightly the next day as this one did. It slowly oozes in, and left me 
with a haunting feeling, a feeling of a past life I no longer wanted 
to live. Made me want to move forward and really do something and not 
sit and stew about all that is wrong, unfair. This a truly unique 
movie. One not all will appreciate. It taps into the blandness we all 
feel when feeling hopeless, in life, in our jobs, not striving for 
something more. We can sit around, do nothing and talk about it or we 
can take action. Mann captures wonderfully realistic mundane moments 
that we’ve all experienced in one way or another before, but no one 
has been brave enough to make a movie about them––until now.
 Those days we take for granted, and overwhelm the majority of our 
lives, until we can’t take it anymore and make a positive change.


5/5 stars

by ljasdf12213sadf – May 4, 2013

    What is friends? That’s really the 
central thesis of this tale about three lost souls swimming in a 
fishbowl year after year. Alas, this movie could also be about the 
inner workings of a call girl organization and their meandering,
hopeless pawns in the game of sexual chess. Or it could be about
 petty theft. Either way, this movie is outstanding in its achievement
in the field of excellence because the viewer chooses what they can
 get out of the movie rather than the director feeding you a linear,
mindless story. If you have a limited imagination, you will have a
 narrow scope as to what you can decipher from this movie. That being
 said, a lego block is merely a piece of plastic to someone who cannot
 see what will become of it. So, what is friends? A good movie.

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