Standing Up, Falling Down Image

Standing Up, Falling Down

By Alan Ng | November 24, 2020

Can you ever really come back from a significant screw-up in life? This is the question explored in Matt Ratner and Peter Hoare’s comedy, Standing Up, Falling DownBen Schwartz and Billy Crystal are Scott and Marty, and no, the two characters are not related. Both are two men hitting the bottom of screw-ups of their own making.

Scott just returned home after an unsuccessful quest to become a stand-up comedian in Los Angeles. Returning with the same level of maturity as when he left, Scott’s failure is mirrored back to him in the faces of his father Gary (Kevin Dunn), mother Jeanie (Debra Monk), and younger sister Megan (Grace Gummer). Sub-plot—he also left behind/ghosted his longtime girlfriend, Becky (Eloise Mumford).

“With both hoping to create a chance meeting with the ex and the estranged son, the two sad sacks soon become close friends.”

Marty, on the other hand, did not handle the slow death of his first wife very well. Alcohol and carousing was his way of coping with death and dying. His young children were there to witness the two instances of decline in both parents at the same time.

After an awkward chance meeting late at night at a bar, Marty becomes Scott’s new dermatologist to take care of Scott’s stress hives. Even more strange and coincidental, the two meet up at the funeral of a friend of Becky, who was also a friend of Marty’s estranged son Adam (Nate Corddry). With both hoping to create a chance meeting with the ex and the estranged son, the two sad sacks soon become close friends.

As Standing Up, Falling Down plays out, much to the dismay of his family, Scott decides to return to stand-up rather than find a real job. Marty makes a few unsuccessful attempts to reconnect with his adult kids. As the two become better friends, the two hopefully start making better decisions about growing up and maturing into adults.

Standing Up, Falling Down (2020)

Directed: Matt Ratner

Written: Peter Hoare

Starring: Ben Schwartz, Billy Crystal, Grace Gummer, Eloise Mumford, Kevin Dunn, Debra Monk, Nate Corddry, etc.

Movie score: 8/10

Standing Up, Falling Down Image

"…their stories are about being broken as humans with a dab of redemption."

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