You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

I Am Not a Hipster

Writer-helmer Destin Daniel Cretton makes a well-crafted feature debut with this slender slice of life about a depressed indie rock up-and-comer's hectic week.

With: Dominic Bogart, Alvaro Orlando, Tammy Minoff, Lauren Coleman, Kandis Erickson, Brad William Henke, Adam Shapiro, Tania Verafield, Eva Mah, Michael Harding.

A Sundance prizewinner for 2009 short “Short Term 12,” writer-helmer Destin Daniel Cretton makes a well-crafted feature debut with drama “I Am Not a Hipster.” Slender slice of life about a depressed indie-rock up-and-comer’s hectic week ultimately delivers some emotional heft, but provides a considerable hurdle to viewer engagement in making the central protagonist such a sulky, bitter pill to be around. New director showcases and moderate home-format exposure are signaled.

We first see Brook Hyde (Dominic Bogart) starting his first club set in a while, only to bail partway through the opening song and retreat to the bathroom for a hurl. Pic then rewinds a week to show him hiding out in his messy apartment, ignoring umpteen phone messages from family members about to visit, as well as anything else that might disturb his funk.

Dragged to a local radio by his hyperactive “sorta manager” Clarke (Alvaro Orlando), Brook lackadaisically informs listeners that despite his first album’s success, “It all just seems really stupid to me right now … a waste of energy.” When the gushing interviewer raises the fact that the musician’s mother died two years ago — right about the same time he moved from rural Ohio to San Diego — Brook turns hostile.

It’s surely not his first tantrum; nor is it his last onscreen one, as the protag is alternately awkward and spiteful toward everyone around him. (The title notwithstanding, he’s the very definition of hipster cliche, being a tortured singer-songwriter insistent that all bystanders feel his pain.) Things brighten with the arrival of his three sisters (Tammy Minoff, Lauren Coleman, Kandis Erickson), an irrespressible trio who force him to have some fun despite himself. He manages to avoid his dad (Michael Harding), who’s come along with them, for a couple days, but when the whole surviving family finally gets together and their purpose in reuniting is revealed, there’s a certain dramatic payoff.

Still, Brook is off-putting company, which seems to be just what Cretton and Bogart have in mind. He childishly creates embarrassing scenes twice when forced to share space with an ex-g.f. and her new beau, ruining pitiful Clarke’s spotlight moment in the process. All Brook has going for him, from the viewer’s standpoint, is talent: The songs featured, penned by San Diego musician Joel P West and nicely sung by Bogart, are agreeable enough if indeed “whiny,” as even the hero admits. A deeper glimpse of the San Diego indie-rock scene around him might have made Brook’s self-absorbed resentment less overbearing.

Other elements are pleasing, with Cretton’s breezy editing highlighting a modest but nimble package.

I Am Not a Hipster

Production: An Uncle Freddy production. Produced by Ron Najor. Executive producer, Fred Najor. Co-producer, Trevor Fernando. Directed, written by Desti Daniel Cretton.

Crew: Camera (color, HD), Brett Pawlak; music, Joel P West; costume designer, Joy Cretton; sound, Erik Clabeaux; assistant director, Jared Callahand. Reviewed at Sundance Film Festival (Next), Feb. 20, 2012. Running time: 90 MIN.

Cast: With: Dominic Bogart, Alvaro Orlando, Tammy Minoff, Lauren Coleman, Kandis Erickson, Brad William Henke, Adam Shapiro, Tania Verafield, Eva Mah, Michael Harding.

More Scene

  • DF-10956_R – Gwilym Lee (Brian May) and

    'Bohemian Rhapsody' Producer Confirms Bryan Singer's Reason for Leaving, Says 'No One' Was Attached to Play Mercury

    “Bohemian Rhapsody” producer Graham King provided insight into some of the events surrounding the Golden Globe-winning film Saturday at the Producers Guild Awards Nominees Breakfast, including director Bryan Singer’s departure from the film partway through production. “It’s an unfortunate situation, with like 16, 17 days to go and Bryan Singer just had some issues, his [...]

  • Mj Rodriguez, Nico Santos to Announce

    Mj Rodriguez, Nico Santos to Announce GLAAD Media Award Nominations

    Mj Rodriguez and Nico Santos are set to announce the nominees for the 30th annual GLAAD Media Awards. The “Pose” star and “Crazy Rich Asians” funny man will make the announcement during a live-stream hosted by AT&T and from the AT&T Hello Lounge at the Sundance Film Festival on Friday, Jan. 25. “The images and stories recognized [...]

  • Emile Hirsch, Matt SmileyEmile Hirsch hosts

    Emile Hirsch Hosts Smiley Face Art Opening at Mondrian Hotel

    Despite the rain on Wednesday night in West Hollywood, there were plenty of smiles inside the Mondrian hotel thanks to artist Matt Smiley‘s Refresh exhibition. Not only is Smiley his real last name, but several of his paintings and other pieces in the exhibit feature smiley faces. “I’ve seen more smiley symbolism lately, and I’ve [...]

  • Randall Park, left, and Constance Wu

    Constance Wu Wants Her 'Fresh Off the Boat' Co-Star Randall Park to Host the Oscars

    While the Academy may have decided to go hostless for this year’s Oscars, that doesn’t mean the rest of Hollywood has stopped thinking about who would be a good choice for the emceeing gig. Former host Whoopi Goldberg recently suggested Ken Jeong. Jeong said, when he was a guest on “The View,” Goldberg told him [...]

  • 'Schitt's Creek' Stars Reveal Dream Guest

    'Schitt's Creek' Cast Reveals Dream Guest Stars: Oprah, Beyonce and ...

    “Schitt’s Creek” has big dreams. Dan Levy, who stars as David on the series, says his wish list of guest stars includes Oprah, Beyonce, Mariah Carey and Gwyneth Paltrow. “All for different reasons, none of whom we’ll get,” he cracked at the Critics’ Choice Awards. For those who haven’t caught on to the “Schitt’s Creek” [...]

  • Barbra Streisand and Gisele Bundchen

    Barbra Streisand and Gisele Bündchen to Be Honored at UCLA Science Gala

    Science can be very glamorous. It certainly will be during Oscar week on Feb. 21 when the UCLA Institute of the Environment & Sustainability (IoES) honors Barbra Streisand and Gisele Bündchen for environmental activism at its annual Hollywood for Science Gala. “When I moved to LA, the air was unbreathable. Rivers were catching fire in [...]

  • Don Cheadle and Andrew Rannells Black

    Don Cheadle, Andrew Rannells Talk Snorting 'Coke' on 'Black Monday'

    “Black Monday” show creators David Caspe and Jordan Cahen divulged an intriguing detail to come later in the first season of the new Showtime comedy at its world premiere, held at the Theatre at Ace Hotel on Monday night in Los Angeles. “The fourth or fifth episode opens with a sexual harassment seminar, which very well [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content