Written by Taylor Baker
A tiresome regurgitation of some merit.
Kaufman has taken very few proverbial swings, so when he fails it seems much more important than when Woody Allen does or has. However they both as artists essentially swirl their emotions/neuroses into a cup and try to pour out something of merit. I’d go so far as to say they try to make something that fulfills them. It’s just that what Kaufman has had to say for a decade is the same. There isn’t improvement, nor growth, it doesn’t even offer a differing sentiment than his previous projects. I get no sense that he’s working thru anything different, and that’s not something I would demand of most screenwriters. But when you are creating something so steeped in intellectual themes, I believe it would be dishonest of the audience to not demand intellectual growth of some sort out of the artist. I already had what edifying qualities could be found of the essential – quintessential metaphysical unmoored identity experience with Synecdoche, New York. To feel like that film not only outshines this one but out communicates it’s very core facets is disappointing. This will be the last time I go in hopeful to a Kaufman film(hopeful in the sense of it being good, not happy).
In summation the deeply rooted feeling that Kaufman like his main male protagonist stand in’s hasn’t grown up is disappointing and indicative that his art may no longer vibe with me.
All that said I certainly think it deserves to be engaged with, after all anything that gets me to rant for an extended stint of sentences has something to it.
–Taylor Baker originally posted this review on Letterboxd 09/07/20
View it on Netflix