Com­ing-of-age tale un­con­vinc­ing

Los Angeles Times - - AT THE MOVIES REVIEWS - — Glenn Whipp

Al­lan Loeb has writ­ten a dozen movies since break­ing through a decade ago with the for­mu­laic re­cov­ery drama “Things We Lost in the Fire.”

Loeb’s lat­est, an un­con­vinc­ing com­ing-of-age tale, “The Only Liv­ing Boy in New York,” was one of the first screen­plays he wrote, many years ago. Loeb’s re­sume in­cludes “Col­lat­eral Beauty” and “Just Go With It.”

The movies of­ten fea­ture a third-act twist and are of­ten ei­ther in­dif­fer­ent to women or treat them in a man­ner that can come across as puerile.

“Only Liv­ing Boy,” set in present-day New York, tells the story of an in­suf­fer­able, priv­i­leged young man, Thomas (Cal­lum Turner), who dis­cov­ers his father (Pierce Bros­nan) is cheating on his emo­tion­ally frag­ile mother (Cyn­thia Nixon) with a woman named Jo­hanna (Kate Beck­in­sale).

Yes, that woman’s name means a char­ac­ter played by Jeff Bridges will keep re­peat­ing “vi­sions of Jo­hanna” over and over again un­til di­rec­tor Marc Webb re­lents and un­leashes the Bob Dy­lan song of the same name.

“Only Liv­ing Boy” fails to con­vince as a char­ac­ter study, ro­mance or love let­ter to the CBGB-era New York City. It drops a plot bomb­shell close to the end, but the film­mak­ers don’t make it plau­si­ble.

“SoulCy­cle is the only soul this city has left,” Thomas whines, putting down 21st cen­tury Man­hat­tan. But even Richard Nixon has got soul, a wise man once sang.

“The Only Liv­ing Boy in New York.” Rating: R, for lan­guage and some drug ma­te­rial. Run­ning time: 1 hour, 28 min­utes. Play­ing: In se­lect the­aters.

Niko Tavernise

CAL­LUM TURNER is a priv­i­leged young man, and Kate Beck­in­sale plays his father’s mis­tress.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.