As with countless recent domestic films about man-children, Full Grown Men contends that its arrestedly developed protagonist Alby (Matt McGrath) needs to act his age, all while treating this pitiably infantile dolt with undeserved sympathy. David Munro’s feature debut, co-written with Xandra Castleton, posits Alby’s immaturity as part of a larger epidemic, with every other person seemingly incapable of growing up, from an amusement park worker (Alan Cumming) bitter at his former employer, to a woman (Deborah Harry) who threw her family away to dress up like a mermaid, to the young special-needs students of Alby’s childhood pal Elias (Judah Friedlander) who’ll never become mentally mature adults. The plethora of similar cinematic stories lends weight to Full Grown Men’s depiction of a domestic landscape littered with Peter Pan complexes, but director Munro apparently believes that Alby is an endearingly flawed yet eminently relatable figure, rather than a dimwit whose mushy-headed decision to favor cartoon scribblings and collectible action figures over his loving wife and son is pathetic. Alby walks out on responsibility so he can sit on his memory-impaired mom’s couch watching kung fu (dash?) movies, reconnect with Elias to (half-heartedly) make up for past sins, and travel to theme park Diggityland, a National Lampoon’s Vacation-ish odyssey that blends goofy humor and precious poignancy. The film, alas, hasn’t got a joke worth laughing over or a character worth caring about save for Elias, whom Friedlander admirably refuses to embody as a self-pitying sad sack and, as a result, is the only one in this pretentiously darling little indie dud—full of Crayola-bright colors and earnest guitar-rock—who actually earns compassionate respect.
- Emerging Pictures
- 78 min
- David Munro
- Xandra Castleton, David Munro
- Matt McGrath, Judah Friedlander, Alan Cumming, Deborah Harry, Amy Sedaris
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