So, aside from the usual struggling to make it in the big city, what conflict is there? Contrivances really. There is an adorable story here somewhere. I believe that to be so from Blane’s kindhearted approach to the story and the way that he portrays how each of the characters interacts with one another. Yet when our second act closes, I feel like the reasonable behavior of all involved up to this point was jettisoned in order to build up to resolution.
All of the technical aspects of the film are as rudimentary but as charming, as Mark’s grooming habits. Messy, inconsistent photography yields focal points that are only occasionally focused. Not to mention the over and underexposed shots used in the final product. Somehow though it works for the most part.
“…warm understanding and faith in the goodness of people in general.”
It is clear that Blane was influenced by John Cameron Mitchell with his use of rotoscoping and animation to punctuate even the most minute of story beats. Too he has Mitchell’s warm understanding and faith in the goodness of people in general. When the third act conflicts arise we just know things will be okay. That is a true gift to have as a filmmaker, to offer the viewers a subliminal assurance. But in order for the journey to really work, we have to pay the price with real conflict.
Had we stayed in the car for 90 minutes with Mark and his mother Peggy as they traveled to New York, we might have gleaned far more insight than writer-director and star Mark Blane, and co-writer Ben Mankoff attempted in this new dramedy. This is not to say that Cubby is a bad film. It is quite a frothy mix of childish innocence and magical realism. It’s just nothing of major consequence.
"…...a connection develops between the two that is sweet and disarming."