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PEOPLE, PLACES, THINGS

★★

LOVE IS AWKWARD

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By Brent Davidson
10th September 2015
Will Henry (Jemaine Clement) has just discovered his wife in bed with her improv instructor. It wouldn’t be such a big deal if they didn’t have six years of marriage and young daughters behind them. So how does this graphic novel artist and teacher stitch his life back together? A combination of self-deprecation, art and the love of his daughters is a good start.

Jemaine Clement is the king of the awkward interaction, but not only that, the king of the understated witty comeback. He is the perfect casting in this film that takes an unusual look at a marriage breakdown. Normally these tend to focus on the female side of the equation (in a general Hollywood nuclear family type way). Instead, clichés are inverted and the father is the downtrodden focus and the one who is left behind.

SWITCH: 'PEOPLE, PLACES, THINGS' TRAILER

I had such great hopes for this film. Quirky, different and heartfelt it definitely is, but I was wanting it to be so much more of all of these. It all just feels a little bit flat. I wonder if this is a bit of an American influence and if the film had been set in New Zealand they might have been able to make it a little bit more edgy. It feels a little whitewashed. Regina Hall as Diane, the first romantic interest for the protagonist since the divorce, is a marvel. She is probably the most well-written character in the movie: strong, wise and challenging, she is everything that is missing from a lot of mainstream female characters at the moment.

Quirky, different and heartfelt it definitely is, but I was wanting it to be so much more.

What the final result is, is an inoffensive romantic comedy about a man finding himself after his whole life is turned upside down. With enough for everyone, no one will be too disappointed seeing 'People, Places, Things', but like me, if you find yourself a little awkward in love too, you might be wanting to see a little more (even if its just to prove you are okay!).

FAST FACTS
RELEASE DATE: 10/09/2015
RUN TIME: 1h 25m
CAST: Jemaine Clement
Regina Hall
Jessica Williams
Stephanie Allynne
Michael Chernus
DIRECTOR: Jim Strouse
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