Coming-of-age tale unconvincing
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.
CALLUM TURNER is a privileged young man, and Kate Beckinsale plays his father’s mistress.