American AnimalFeature Film | Matt D’Elia By Josh Ralske
A shrill, obnoxious mess, but not the fun kind.
Matt D'Elia's feature debut is unique, but that's not always a good thing. The trailer hints at the abrasiveness of the lead character, Jimmy (played by D'Elia, who also wrote the script), but it may leave viewers unprepared for how monotonously repetitive Jimmy's schtick is. Jimmy is suffering from a serious illness. He lives with James (Brendan Fletcher). Apparently, they both come from wealthy families. They're both feckless, but James seems interested in what's going on in the world. They invite a couple of women named Angela (Mircea Monroe and Angela Sarafyan) over to smoke pot and hang out. Jimmy gets angry when he finds out that James has gotten a job. The supporting cast is solid. They all make pretty good foils. The plot doesn't especially matter, nor do pretentious little details like the characters having the same names. Unlike many talky, low-budget movies, American Animal is shot with care. But all of D'Elia's allusions to other better films, like Apocalypse Now and All That Jazz, only serve to show up the emptiness of his own work. D'Elia's dialogue is a constant stream of mindless chatter, as Jimmy spews non-sequiturs and invents his own inane language. There's nothing wrong with a lead character who is irritating, self-absorbed, and a privileged fool. The mortal sin here is that Jimmy is also tedious to watch.
|American Animal Trailer|