Therefore, when the movie cuts to Patrick’s Harvey murdering someone, impressively staged though it may be (there is something wonderfully clever about how much easier it gets for him throughout the film), the momentum there is undercut by admittedly amusing sequences involving taking drugs or parties. The comedy lessens the impact of the drama, as while the point is how no one is on the same page, this lack of empathy from the characters means it is hard for the audience to care as well. Thus, as the scenes play out, all confidently mounted and beautifully shot by director of photography Ed Wu, there isn’t much investment.
That is not to imply the movie is without merit. Amanda Crew does a lot of the heavy lifting the screenplay fails at, crafting a person whose struggles feel genuine. When she sees a vision of her dead dad while tripping, there is pathos and heartbreak present. Patrick is so creepy and seeing him take down a guy at a bar who attempts to roofie Olive is worthy of the cheer it elicited.
The supporting cast, do an admirable job with what they are given. Blevins as the concerned son is my favorite performance of the film. He does not have a large role, but he makes the audience buy into the love he has for his old man. Plus, there is a small, wonderfully, sweet moment at the ending of the movie involving his character, that has no dialogue. The physical movements and look upon his face says so much.
“…is also about how no two characters throughout the movie are ever on the same page.”
Richard Bates Jr., from a directing standpoint, keeps each part moving along nicely, so despite the tonal disparity, the film is never dull. Plus, the script is filled with inspired moments of creative awesomeness. Harvey gives an enthralling monologue about how entitled the younger generations are, which breaks the fourth wall. There are a few monologues like this throughout, which Patrick nails every time, and they are stunning. An interesting take on the wall breaking happens at the end, which is the smartest turn the movie takes.