Almost Friends Movie Review (2019)
In its meandering way almost friends touches on serious coming of age themes. Parental dysfunction teen pregnancy and emotional trauma are some of the plot points in writer director jake goldbergers third feature after don mckay and life of a king a comic drama that sometimes appealingly gentle but more often frustratingly amorphous. There are instances of wit and sensitivity scattered through the screenply but they have no cumulative impact amid the lackluster direction and general dearth of urgency. Though the actors create persuasive moments there plenty that unconvincing in this story of charlie freddie highmore a twenty something who stuck in neutral and gradually wendin his way back toward a sense of purpose. For starters the movie doesnt sell the key premise of charlies culinary passion. other charaters speak of his talent and its clear that something has quashed his ambition but there no compelling evidence of the pilot light that once burned bright.
Away from the built in fiction of his highter concept TV work on the good doctor and especially bates motal highmore performance takes a while to find a groove. Struggling to chat up high school senior amber odeya rush at the coffee shop where she works charlie is all hesitant mannerisms and stutters. but ones he done channeling early hugh grant the actor brings charlie more into focus suggesting the depths of pain beneath the self deprecating surface. There some nicely underplayed buddy chemistry betwee him and another famous former child actor. Haley joel osment who udnerused as charlie dependable wingman ben.
With his restaurant dreams on the back burner if not permanently exingushed charlie is biding hie time as an assistant manger at a revival hosue hanging out with his sharp tongued friend heather rita volk and embarrassed to still be living with his mother marg helgenberger and her second husband gary moore. They live in comfort and the dependablility of charlie stepdad takes on new meaning when his long time no see father howard chris meloni blows into town like bad weather. he an inveterate gambler and liar and as absurd as it is that he worms his way back into his ex wife houshold meloni conveys the manipulative charisma that enables howard to do it injecting much needed tension into the otherwise slack processdings.Almost Friends Movie Review,