The Year of Spectacular Men

This is the epitome of "imperfect but so well-meaning and sweet I liked it anyway."

It's Lea Thompson's directorial debut and stars her daughters Madelyn and Zoey Deutch, which is impossibly adorable. It's also written by Madelyn Deutch, and that feels great.

My major problem is the two sisters (Madelyn as Izzy and Zoey as Sabrina) felt more they were supposed to be their real-life ages, rather than their movie ages (Izzy was fresh out of college and Sabrina was her younger starlet sister). But that's sort of a minor complaint (and it's possible Madelyn had this idea/script from an earlier era).

It only dabbles in this a bit, but I appreciate that Izzy is a mess but these boymen treat her as some kind of manic pixie dream girl (we get to hear their thoughts but the movie is from her perspective). Their idealizing of Izzy is definitely at contrast with who she actually is, and it's done in a pretty sweet way, honestly. But I wanted the movie to push that a bit stronger. I felt like it was making a comment and then ... it wasn't.

And mostly, yeah, that was the problem -- the overall narrative was not very strong. I like what the movie was trying to say, but even in terms of being a "year in the life," it felt a little meandering.

But the performances are great and Thompson does well here (both in front of the camera and behind it). I think Zoey Deutch is posed to be a delightful romantic comedy star here soon, but Madelyn Deutch gave a really warm and winning performance. It was also fun to see Jesse Bradford, who apparently has done more things since Bring It On, but not much people have cared about.

I recommend this, but maybe don't spend money on it. Or really seek it out too much. It's a good lazy Saturday afternoon movie. It has its charms. I'm happy I watched it, but I don't know how much it will stick with me.

(I did pay for this, but it was mostly with the slow shipping Amazon credits, so it was just like $2. I was also on a Zoey Deutch kick, so ...)