Mikey (Matt Boren) returns to his hometown of New York for a business trip, but instead of catching a flight back to L.A. to his pregnant wife and baby daughter, he opts to stay an extra day at his parents’ house instead. Soon, despite his wife’s frantic phone calls and his parents’ confused looks, he keeps finding more and more excuses to stay. Mikey’s juvenile regression has him sitting in his former bedroom reading his old journals and calling old girlfriends. His motivation may be murky, but he is an example of an increasing phenomenon of grown up children who escape the pressures of the real world by moving back home.
The back-story of the movie is an interesting one, as writer/director Azazel Jacobs cast his own parents (Flo Jacobs and Ken Jacobs, a noted filmmaker) in the project and filmed it in his childhood residence. The apartment itself speaks volumes in its unorthodoxy. It has the size and appearance of a warehouse or an overcrowded junk store, crammed to the ceiling with oddities and objects. The inhabitants work themselves around the stuff, carving out living spaces amongst so many things. The effect is bohemian and intellectual, nontraditional but comforting. Despite their reserve, it’s easy to imagine the home as a reflection of the parents and easy to understand Mikey’s need for the reassurance they provide.
The movie is quiet and minimal in its dialogue, and it has flashes of humor and thoughtfulness. However, it’s also unbearably slow and hard to empathize with Mikey when we don’t really know what his problem is. A lot of us have the desire to recapture our youth and a disproportionate amount of thirty-somethings actually live with their parents, so Mikey’s plight is a relatable one. But we never really learn enough about his individual mindset to get why he is hiding from his own particular life, and there are not enough puzzle pieces to make figuring it out a worthwhile endeavor. The director’s love for the project is apparent, but despite his best intentions, in the end the film doesn’t provide much commentary on the modern trend.