Generation Um… Review

Ben Kenber

Reviewed by:
On April 23, 2013
Last modified:April 23, 2013


Despite strong performances from Keanu Reeves, Bojana Novakovic and Adelaide Clemens, Generation Um... doesn't give us enough of a story to keep us fully invested throughout its running time.

Generation Um... Review

Generation Um… is one of those movies that forces the audience to come to their own conclusion about what they have witnessed, and it does its best not to manipulate or force them to think in a certain way. This is a very interesting method of filmmaking that can produce fascinating results, but it fails here because the three main characters are not terribly interesting and writer/director Mark Mann only touches at the surface of where they are going. Despite some strong performances, Generation Um… feels like a frustratingly missed opportunity.

Keanu Reeves, who has been missing in action for a while, stars as John, a man who finds that he’s starting to get too old for the trendy New York neighborhood he lives in, and he wanders around the city aimlessly with no clue of where his life is going. His current job has him working as a driver for an escort service, and the two women he drives around town, Violet (Bojana Novakovic) and Mia (Adelaide Clemens), are the closest things he has to friends. Granted, they are not always nice to him (Violet shows no hesitation in calling him stupid), but he is not able to connect with anyone else in this movie the way he does with them.

One day while watching an impromptu dance being performed in a park, John impulsively steals a video camera (a camcorder to be specific) and ends up using it to capture the sights and sounds of New York as he sees them. But then he takes things a step further and turns the camera on Violet and Mia, and they both begin to reveal things about themselves that they otherwise wouldn’t. From there, the women attempt to outdo each other with their opinions and the secrets they have to share.

Generation Um photo 2

Throughout the film I kept waiting for these three characters to have some sort of revelation. While they look to be having fun on the surface (John not so much), they are clearly lost in a world of drugs and self-absorption that you want to see them dig their way out of. The problem is that John, Violet and Mia are not all that interesting as characters as they are shallow and have little depth to them. It would be easy to dismiss them as being unlikable, but characters do not need to be likable for a movie to work. They just have to be interesting and give you more than enough of a reason to follow them into their own personal hell.

When the camera does get introduced into Generation Um…, the movie does become a bit more interesting as it looks to get under these characters’ skin to see what makes them tick. There’s a great moment where John and Violet, after an uncomfortable moment, embrace for the longest hug in recent motion picture history. It hints at the intimacy they are missing in their lives and the deep connection with others they yearn for but which they have long since denied to themselves.

You have to give a lot of credit to the actors as they inhabit their characters fully and without any reservations. Novakovic doesn’t try to make Violet an easy person to like, and she revels in portraying Violet as an unabashed entertainer who never has much of an audience to perform to. Clemens is even better as Mia as she creates a mysterious character we desperately want to know more about. As for Reeves, he is well cast as John in that he does look like out of place in the town his character inhabits, and his sullen look and disposition speaks many words about where John is in life. Many still carp about Reeves’ talents, but he’s still a better actor than many give him credit for.

Unfortunately, despite the best efforts of the actors, Generation Um… really only scratches the surface of these peoples’ lives, and it gets to where you want the movie to just end already. It’s hard to get excited about any of the characters, and we come to pity them more than we could ever empathize with them. While we want to see John, Violet and Mia snap out of their aimless existences and work towards a more positive future, we find ourselves not caring if they ever do by the movie’s end.

Generation Um… marks the feature film directing debut of American artist Mark Mann, and he specializes in photographic art works that create an uneasy tension between truth and fiction. While he does a good job in capturing the alienation and loneliness many people experience in a big city, he depends far too much on the audience to fill in the missing blanks. While he wants us to think about what we would do if we were these characters, he doesn’t give us enough subtext to chew on or think about, and he could have gone much, much deeper with the story.

Some might find Generation Um… interesting as an art film that deals with how people find themselves trapped in a rudderless existence, but others will find it a tedious experience that is not worth repeating.

Generation Um... Review

Despite strong performances from Keanu Reeves, Bojana Novakovic and Adelaide Clemens, Generation Um... doesn't give us enough of a story to keep us fully invested throughout its running time.

Comments (4)

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  1. AA~says:

    Thanks for your thorough review. Even though you gave 2 and a half stars on this movie, I’d still like to watch this movie to fully understand you review. 🙂

  2. indira melphasisays:

    I just watched generation Um… and despite the overwhelmingly negative reviews from “critics”, I actually found it quite a powerful statement- kind of a slow moving portrait of a dark mood, a lingering dissection of feelings of weakness and powerlessness– it was hypnotic and flawed and a completely unique piece of cinema…kind of a character study of a hangover in a way, both the real kind and the spiritual kind…

    It is also exciting and refreshing to me to see such a huge movie star like Keanu Reeves play such a vulnerable role in such a small risky piece of art– I’m wondering why all of these “critics” seem to have such an issue with this film and the filmmaker who made it- seems to me that this sort of project should be encouraged rather than universally condemned by people who tout themselves as authorities on the world of cinema.

    As Zach Galifianakis so eloquently said in Due Date: I think the “critics” need to “check it before they wreck it.”

    in addition to Ben Kenber’s review of this film, I think it’s only fair to suggest checking out the many thoughtful REVIEWS by ACTUAL PEOPLE on IMDB and iTunes-
    so that it can be known that Ben’s “us” might not include everyone…

    and people can be encouraged to not miss out on experiencing this film for themselves.


    Don’t force it, 11 May 2013 

    United Kingdom

    9/10 Stars

    I’m not sure what the expectations were
    with this film, but I’ve been surprised by some of the reviews.
    Within the first few minutes of the movie starting, I felt a
    familiarity with all the characters. I can’t say I particularly liked
    them, but I recognised the three disaffected lonely people finding
    some kind of solace in each other’s marginal and dysfunctional lives.
    As someone else mentions, the film reads like a documentary: the
    dialogue feels very improvised and the film is not so much a
    plot-driven story, but rather a slowly unfolding short-lens view of
    three emotionally immobile people finding some kind of connection
    together over the course of a single night. Laconic, thoughtful and
    locked in a state of stasis, Keanu eats up the character of John, an
    inarticulate downtown 40-something whose job is chauffeuring two
    drugged-up young escorts, Violet (Bojana Novakovic) and Mia (Adelaide
    Clemens) around town. The pace remains even throughout, seducing you
    into feeling you’re watching a one shot movie, as the night brings
    ever-increasing and intimate interaction with each character’s search
    for an emotional cleanse. Noisy though the growing pains are, this
    they receive, however transient.

  3. indira melphasisays:

    More IMDB USER REVIEWS OF generation Um…

    A Day in the Life, 10 May 2013
    United States

    9/10 Stars

    Initially after watching I was confused
    as I could not understand what was happening to the characters in the
    movie. Once I finished the movie, it began to make sense. I was
    surprised. This is not a movie that one understands initially after
    viewing. It is like peeling an onion. After watching the movie twice,
    I have learned a bit more about the what the symbolism means. Each
    member of this pseudo family reveals a little bit more about
    themselves, which takes time to develop. The director and the actors
    are patient as the undertones of the movie are revealed one by one.
    It is through this patience that one learns of the real issues that
    face each member of this cast.

    Inspired by Uninspired Characters, 9
    May 2013

    7/10 Stars

    *** This review may contain spoilers

    The film captured my attention, not
    with action or adventure as one might expect of a film starring Keanu
    Reeves (although there was an adventurous moment or two that kept me
    on edge for resolution), but with its ability to draw out emotion and
    deeper “meaning of life” type thoughts from the viewer
    through character development. It was also a clever concept; it was a
    documentary-style film — taking the viewer through a day in the life
    of someone who, in turn, is capturing a day in the life two others —
    camera on camera action. It is not a familiar or usual “day in a
    life” for the majority of population, but many of the thoughts
    and feelings expressed by the characters are familiar or at least
    have been at some point or another in our lives. 

The film’s
    viewers discover the lead characters’ inner thoughts through
    conversational dialog and even question-answer dialog as the
    documenter (20-30-something male) is filming the two documentees
    (20-30-something females), delving deeper and deeper into the girls
    minds, and thus, the story became more and more interesting.
    Furthermore, the documenter was seemingly finding inspiration in his
    efforts to learn more about the girls’ thoughts and possibly even
    learning more about himself. What was more captivating was during the
    many moments of silence, no dialog, the characters’ expressions and
    actions revealed even more about their thoughts and feelings. I
    started to develop a connection with the characters, even though my
    life is not at all like any of theirs. This film is complexity masked
    in simplicity – it is easy to follow but has complex themes and
    feelings – thus making it hard to stop watching. 

    the movie, I developed various feelings for the lead characters,
    leading lives that I could not and wish not imagine for myself, but
    knowing that there are people out there in such environments and
    predicaments as the settings in this film. I found myself wanting to
    know more and more about the characters. My feelings for them were
    first of disgust due to lack of empathy for their plight. Then, as
    the film went on, learning more about the lead characters’ inner
    thoughts and emotions as well as lack of emotion, my feelings morphed
    into that of hopelessness and sorrow for them, developing a genuine
    caring for them. Out of my feelings of hopelessness and sorrow came
    hope — hope that the characters will find their way out of their
    loneliness and discontentment, thinking that the three of them were
    drawn together by their shared sorrowful feelings and longing for
    something different, something more, and it’s the three of them that
    will pull each other out of their plight by inspecting each other
    more closely “under a camera” — discovering each other and
    in effect, discovering themselves.

The three lead characters are
    related on more and several levels than just friends (with possible
    benefits). In watching the film, one learns that there are layers of
    meaning and purpose in friendship and ideas on how to discover them,
    which I believe we all can find inspiration in and benefit from in
    our lives. 

I did indeed find this film somewhat inspirational
    even though it was not a hopeful resolve. And say kudos to the actors
    and director for portraying uncomfortable-to-watch characters in an
    uncomfortable setting, and furthermore, for transforming the
    “uncomfortable” into feelings for them and maybe even
    thoughts we don’t usually think in our own lives that may make us
    think more.

    Some of those who wander ARE lost., 27
    August 2012

 from The Hague, Netherlands

    7/10 Stars

    Low user ratings are to be expected
    when the names of Keanu and Bojana fuel edge-of-your-seat
    anticipation. This however documents (partly videotaped by Keanu’s
    character) a 24 hour stretch in the lives of three people who are
    beyond clueless, they don’t even care if there is such a thing as
    clue, purpose or direction in life. They don’t even bother to define
    the relationships amongst the 3 of them. They don’t even care to find
    words to describe their feelings and their lack of any accomplishment
    gives new meaning to the word void. I do believe this to be a
    socially relevant document of the lives of some of the 20- or
    30-something generation who are one level below the entitled ones.
    It’s there, it’s real, no comedy nor drama, but it did powerfully
    communicate awareness to me as a viewer.

    gination, you will have a
    narrow scope as to what you can decipher from this movie. That being
    said, a lego block is merely a piece of plastic to someone who cannot
    see what will become of it. So, what is friends? A good movie.

  4. indira melphasisays:

    More IMDB USER REVIEWS of generation Um…

    breathtakingly authentic, 8 January

from Germany, Berlin

    10/10 Stars

    *** This review may contain spoilers

    I try not to make this a spoiler, but I
    have to say that they might as well have called it a
    documentary…though the actors are mere placeholders for a
    phenomenon i guess. I have travelled a great deal around this world
    and had nights like the one shown in this movie quite many everywhere
    i went, though most of the people involved were not sexworkers.
    Uncountable conversations with glasses of whine, mostly without
    cameras though ;-),with people like me, randomly ending up in the
    same space for a limited period of time, living in the “grey
    zone”- a.k.a life. This film is a mere description of how blurry
    time, space and relation to what is perceived as reality and the
    suffering within it becomes sometimes, when you are stuck between
    awareness and maturity. My compliments to the director, the girls and
    Mr. Reeves. Somebody seems to have understood something. And its
    funny too!!!

    Edgy NYC indie flick, 27 December

 from United States

    10/10 Stars

    *** This review may contain spoilers

    I can believe that this movie wont be
    released at your local multiplex but it is an interesting account of
    24 hours in the life of sex workers in NYC. Not an X rated movie by
    any stretch but more of a personal exploration of people that wind up
    in this situation and how their day goes. There are some edgy scenes
    of a sexual nature and when that includes one with Keanu Reeves that
    is a real attention getter. He is so achingly damaged and sweet in
    this role. Through his curiosity, and his sincerity, and his stolen
    movie camera, he is able to reveal some of himself and be a real
    friend for the 2 young women sex workers, without judging them. Not a
    feel good film. More about gritty pathos on the seamy side of NYC. I
    dug it.

    The movie is not just for fun, 2 May

from Saint Petersburg, Russia

    9/10 Stars

    This movie shows the life that you
    don’t want to know about. There is no desire to know it or to
    remember anything that happens in this life. Even though sometimes
    many of us feel the same way as the main characters do, regardless of
    what we are. We are ready to judge people, not many of us try to
    understand the deep reasons of their behavior. If we draw an analogy
    with The Matrix, John’s destiny is a story of a lonely person who
    didn’t know he was the one. Nobody believes in him, and he stops to
    believe in himself. But he starts revealing after realizing how much
    the two girls need him, even though these two are condemned by the
    society. Watching the movie was hard for me. I had a feeling that I’m
    watching a documentary. It confirms actors and director’s high level
    of professionalism.

    “Generation Um…” is a very
    subtle and clever movie with fine actor’s work., 2 May 2013

    from Russia

    10/10 Stars

    *** This review may contain spoilers

    “Generation Um…” is a very
    subtle and clever movie with fine actor’s work. All characters of
    this story are very important even if they are absent in the shot
    (John’s mother for example). Each role has certain semantic meaning.
    So what this movie is about? According to official short reviews it
    is about “three adults during a single day in New York City, one
    filled with sex, drugs, and indecision”. But this is only the
    tip of the iceberg. The thoughtful viewer who isn’t interested in
    action only, but in psychological and philosophical dramas also, will
    dig deeper. And after that it becomes obvious that the movie is kind
    of a very frank and shrill confession. Why the characters of the
    movie come to such point in their lives? The reasons are deep mental
    wounds, childhood complexes and bad experiences. And life apathy and
    inner uncertainty as a result of it . It leads to the point when the
    adult person drives himself or herself into a corner and immures all
    exits, destroying thereby all their life. The movie is about the
    importance of understanding yourself, throwing the past mistakes’
    weight off the shoulders, and forgiving people that caused those
    painful scars on your heart. The most important is to forgive and
    just love yourself at least a little, and try to spread the wings as
    a new nation and start over with a clean slate. It is still very
    important to understand that it’s possible to start a new life at any
    age. That’s why the main characters are in different age categories
    (around 20, 30 and 40 years old). As it is written in medical
    literature, “the forming of the positive motivation can increase
    probability of the patient’s recovery”. We can see their
    recovery even though it’s painful and uncertain. Keanu Reeves notes
    in the interviews that the ending of the movie gives hope for the

    What is the movie about?, 2 May

from Ukraine

    8/10 Stars

    What is the movie about? It’s about
    loneliness in a crowd, probably. About pain. About hope. About
    proximity. The movie is about just one day, and about the whole life.
    It’s as little as very much at the same time. The movie starts and
    ends same — the three friends come home from work. But the things
    that occurred during the day changing their attitude to themselves
    and to their own lives. They learn to trust. John has the rare talent
    to ask short questions and to listen carefully. It turns out to be
    very important, when you just listen and don’t teach, don’t advise,
    don’t bring something up. John starts video taping as entertainment
    and ends up as a confession. And confession always clears the soul.
    Mark Mann shot a very intimate movie, and brought the viewer
    completely into the world where Mia, Violet and John live. This world
    isn’t joyful and it isn’t sad. It’s real. The movie is for those who
    appreciate sincerity on the screen and who aren’t afraid to pass
    others pain through themselves. It’s for those who try to understand
    people living behind the standard morals. The favorite dialog in the
    movie is: – Just don’t hate me because I’m beautiful. – I don’t hate
    you. I’m just confused. Favorite shot: is the park water fountain.

    A Good Art House Film, 28 April

from United States

    8/10 Stars

    *** This review may contain spoilers

    I decided to write a small review on
    this movie that I was able to watch recently. “Generation Um”
    is an art house film. I think that is one of the reasons why people
    gave it such a low rating. I mean it’s interesting how someone would
    expect the movie to be one thing and then get something different
    from what they expected. This is art house, people, that is why
    certain camera moves were used, or certain views, or certain cuts.
    Art house films usually look like some guy next door filmed it and
    then montaged it in his garage. But it does not mean the story
    doesn’t have a logic or purpose. I personally liked to look at these
    three people doing their things and see by their action what they are
    thinking. I mean, I just find it interesting to look at things as
    they are without having a simple direction that tells me “here’s
    what’s going on and here’s what she is feeling”, you know. Like
    when Mia goes for a walk and buys the flowers. Isn’t it an example of
    what she feels after going out last night and dealing with all those
    men who just wanted to use her? She didn’t need the flowers, she just
    wanted to make herself feel better because the guy at the store was
    so nice to her. But to see that you have to look carefully while
    watching. Or the scene with Violet and John when they hug each other.
    That was brilliant. How somebody would give it a 3 or 1? Did you see
    her face when they were standing between walls looking at each other?
    It’s like she is literally begging for help. Her eyes and just the
    whole expression tells you “Please do something!”. Oh, that
    was brilliant. And John, you can see he is ready to do anything for
    her right now but he is just standing there and staring at his shoes.
    I mean, these people just don’t used to it. They used to yell at each
    other, not hug each other. So they finally hug. And you don’t need
    any background music or special camera moves to show you how
    emotional this moment is. And there is a lot of moments like this.
    Seeing how they live these 24 hours can give you an information about
    how they probably lived before, why they got themselves into this and
    what hopes they have for the future.

    Do we feel differently?, 3 May 2013

    from Russia

    9/10 Stars

    *** This review may contain spoilers

    After watching the film I was thinking
    for a long time about this story, or should I say preview of the
    story, its background, it did not leave me indifferent. The
    characters fell deep into my heart and took their places there. I
    think I’m going to carry them with me everywhere as my life goes.
    Were we really so far? Here is Mia, who is building an emotional wall
    around the experiences of her childhood, and here is Violet, who is
    feeling the need for the warmth and intimacy of another person, all
    at the time when she dared to be herself, and have stepped through
    the fear that John will not understand and alienate. And here is
    John, who was looking at the world, the lives of other people from
    the outside. This hug wasn’t easy for him, maybe for the first time
    in his life someone needed him so desperately. Did I ever have to
    worry about such things myself? No, my life is far from life of these
    people. But does it make us feel different from one another? While
    all three of them grow roots, I close my eyes and I see Mia buying
    daisies. Funny, I love daisies. It seems like this flower is all open
    for everyone to see, but it definitely is something mysterious about
    it. Surprisingly, John sees the water just the way I see it. To me
    it’s something always changing but staying same at the same time. I
    guess that’s it for right now. Let’s see what else the movie
    characters show me…

    It’s complicated, 10 April 2013

    Vienna, Austria

    7/10 Stars

    I really didn’t want to watch this
    movie. The low rating is an absolute no go. But thanks to some user
    comments i saw a potential.

I’m happy that i took the chance.
    It’s a movie about life in a certain age – my age. Maybe thats the
    the reason i liked the movie. It was true. I had a good feeling
    watching it. I didn’t always like the way the camera was moving, but
    in the end it gave the movie an innocent touch.

This movie takes
    you into the life of some people you get to know just a little bit.
    it’s like going to a party and listening to other peoples
    conversations without yourself interrupting. It’s a pure view of the
    world in the eyes of John, Mia and Violet. It’s so pure you see their
    skin ‘unphotoshopped’ and thats refreshing.

I often feel being
    betrayed or lied about how things look like, how people look like or
    how locations, bars, streets look like. All the lights, all the make
    up, all the color boosts… sometimes its just too much.

To view
    a movie about kind of a real life story – it’s a nice idea to do that
    with real faces, real streets, real situations. And with that comes
    no explosion, no special close up event, no beautiful candle light
    sex scene… etc..

That said, this movie is definitively
    underrated. If you like Lost in Translation or Vicky Christina
    Barcelona – you may like this movie too. Just don’t expect beautiful
    colors, perfect romance or a Hollywood type movie in general.

    Good movie. Not one of Keanu’s
    cineplex-type efforts., 8 February 2013

 from Australia

    8/10 Stars

    *** This review may contain spoilers

    I had mixed expectations going in to
    this film. On the one hand, there was the generally poor showing on
    IMDb (low rating, several dismissals as boring/uneventful), the
    relatively bland poster (which conveys little except that the film
    features three beautiful people) and a pretty uninspired title. But
    on the other hand, I enjoyed ‘Henry’s Crime’ and ‘…Pippa Lee’ a
    lot, and so the idea of another non-action-based Keanu film seemed
    like a reasonable prospect. In the end, I was very glad a took a
    punt. I liked this film a lot.

’Generation Um…’ relies very
    much on character, dialogue and story, rather than action or
    suspense. Anyone going in looking for a Keanu cineplex-type effort
    will certainly be surprised – and probably disappointed. The pace is
    very deliberate – but it’s all relevant, and it all contributes to
    the film’s effectiveness. If a film is to convey the sense of a
    lifestyle convincingly, it has to follow its subjects through the
    dull, solitary periods as well as the lively ones. This film does
    just that and as a result provided a comprehensive picture of the
    three main characters. You are left with a strong sense of how each
    of the three got to where they are, how they feel about where they
    are and how their lives might play out from this point.

    relatively simple story unfolds in just the right way. The
    significance of the opening scene, and the way each of the three
    characters spends the following day is only revealed toward the end.
    The way these things were revealed was great – suddenly, each
    character’s behaviour throughout the rest of the film (even the
    vacuousness of the first few scenes, which was pretty hard to take
    the first time through) made good sense. Then the film ends more or
    less where it started – and you’re left with the feeling that these
    people are doomed to carry on behaving the same way day after day
    until age, physical decay or poverty pushes them in an even less
    appealing direction.

All in all, a very satisfying film. I
    recommend it highly.

    Generation Um, 3 May 2013

    9/10 Stars

    We often want to see emotional
    positivity, superficial pleasure, sometimes deceptive impressing
    movies only. But life is more cruel, more actual, and more real at
    the same time. In the movie “Generation Um” I see
    unattractive kind of life, but suddenly I understand that even in the
    heavy moments of this people should keep hope and remain human. This
    movie is a narration about hope which helps us to live and go
    further. The film shocked me, because obviously lonely heroes and it
    is so close to all of us, but the hope and love of life in the last
    scene of the film talks about the need to believe in a better and
    humane in all situations.

    This film had to be made., 3 May

from Russia

    10/10 Stars

    *** This review may contain spoilers

    I am afraid I’ll start saying in a
    roundabout way to reveal my thoughts about the film… A person is
    moving through the life blindly by touch. We always try to create
    comfort around ourselves, more often we do it unconsciously and
    instinctively. If we like something we want it to stay with us, if
    something irritates and makes us angry – we try to distance from it
    or leave it. Sometimes we feel by touch, sometimes – by heart. The
    older we are, the more comfortable place we get. Even a looser has an
    old beloved sofa which he enjoys sleeping on after a hard day; he’s
    got a couple of good friends with whom he would have a drink or two.
    So, we have intimate friends and family, our fixed ways and favorite
    food, our homes developed to our tastes; someone is lucky to have a
    favorite job. We know well what type of people we’d better avoid or
    never go to bed with. Thus, we create our own world in which we feel
    ourselves relatively comfortable, someone feels more comfortable and
    someone less. But it is a trap to the soul. We are too busy with our
    everyday life, just with the things around us. We can’t reach to a
    point where we could see eternal depth of the universe, we can’t even
    feel the height of the place where we are standing. The holy
    mysteries of life pass by. But when a person starts asking questions,
    searches someone’s heart, tries to understand people from inside,
    they can save themselves from the consuming emptiness and avoid the
    feeling of useless life and going nowhere. The search is the only way
    to be saved. This is my perception of the world which I saw in the
    film all in details. That is why the film is a true shock to me.
    “Generation Um” is like a cake layered with signs and
    symbols, questions and answers. The film has many points, the most
    ironical one I would put like this: no matter how long you will
    search in your heart (conversations between friends throughout the
    film), but you might be f***ed up by your life one day anyway (the
    girls at the hotel). Even though the things are this way, there is
    always a place for happy moments (the scene in the credits). But this
    harsh generalization isn’t correct for that film, because every
    episode of it, even a small one, has a high concentration of
    meaningfulness and it generates multitude microcosms. This film had
    to be made. It is a guide for those who lost the point and depth of
    their lives, stepped on the way of search. “Generation Um”
    says to them that they are not alone.

    loved it, loved it, loved it., 22 April
 from Romania

    9/10 Stars

    an almost unexpected surprise in
    today’s world focused only on feel-good movies. a multi-layered
    little gem. a story about loneliness, disappointment, pain, despair,
    and ways to cope with all that. a story about human connection and
    lack thereof. a story about games of power, seduction and domination.
    a meditation on how people behave in front and behind a camera. And
    the camera becomes a fourth character; a silent witness that’s
    central to the plot; a fourth player that changes the rules of the
    game. it’s a story about finding hope – or not. no,it’s not
    everyone’s cup of tea. yes, it will make most viewers uncomfortable.
    but those who have patience with this movie will be rewarded with a
    story that sticks with them for days. it’s haunting. as long as such
    movies can still be made, there’s still hope. it means the
    moviemakingmagic is still alive.

    Um…Well I liked it, 29 April
from United States

    7/10 Stars

    *** This review may contain spoilers

    despite the negative reviews this movie
    has been getting on here. I actually like this movie and just wasn’t
    all that bored with it. In fact I found this movie to be random but
    still got my attention and interest. It’s basically about 3 people’s
    typical mundane life in New York City. And although for the most part
    the movie appear to be mundane, the realism and certain aspects of
    this movie makes things interesting. Watching this movie was sort of
    like watching the days and the life of Keanu Reeves if he didn’t
    become a actor. In fact this is one of those movies for a actor or
    actress where no acting is required. It just seemed like for the most
    part Keanu Reeves was just being himself. Except a much more dyslexic
    version of himself and probably much more quieter. In fact he sort of
    reminded me of “Napoleon Dynamite” in this film. And he has
    2 annoying slutty girls that has daddy issues tagging along with him
    and they basically share everything with each other. In fact Keanu’s
    character is sort of a pimp in this movie, just not one of those
    really bossy ones. And the girls are the one’s that boss him around.
    Anyways Keanu’s character John in this just does some random stuff in
    this movie like eating a cupcake and stealing a camera and such. Than
    goes around filming random stuff but these traits brings out his
    character. Not a lot and he has a mysterious vibe thing going on
    because he doesn’t really talk much or about himself. But than again
    that is basically Keanu Reeves himself. Anyways the most interesting
    part about this movie is when Keanu starts interviewing the two girls
    he is with. And when it comes to these two slutty junkie and smug
    girls. One of them is this extrovert and the other sort of introvert.
    And when it came to the actresses one of them reminded me of Carla
    Gugino and the other Michelle Williams. And share some real, raw and
    interesting inner thoughts. One of it is how one of the girls share
    her thoughts about how “men are after power, while girls are
    after love”. As opinionated as the sharing of thoughts between
    the characters maybe it was still interesting and intriguing. This is
    one of those raw movies where realistic acting is involved and seems
    like the actors and actresses are basically doing ad-lib. And just
    seem like real everyday people in NYC and how they act amongst each
    other. I can see why some audiences would not like this film but I
    liked it for what it is. It’s about the mundane and sort of average
    life of a New York City guy and girls connecting with one another
    while showing a bit of each others inner thoughts and scars. It’s not
    one of the best movies I seen of this type but it’s a well made one.

    iTunes User Reviews


    5/5 stars

    by 11milez – April 28, 2013

    Few films lately have hung on to me so
    tightly the next day as this one did. It slowly oozes in, and left me
    with a haunting feeling, a feeling of a past life I no longer wanted
    to live. Made me want to move forward and really do something and not
    sit and stew about all that is wrong, unfair. This a truly unique
    movie. One not all will appreciate. It taps into the blandness we all
    feel when feeling hopeless, in life, in our jobs, not striving for
    something more. We can sit around, do nothing and talk about it or we
    can take action. Mann captures wonderfully realistic mundane moments
    that we’ve all experienced in one way or another before, but no one
    has been brave enough to make a movie about them––until now.
    Those days we take for granted, and overwhelm the majority of our
    lives, until we can’t take it anymore and make a positive change.


    5/5 stars

    by ljasdf12213sadf – May 4, 2013

    What is friends? That’s really the
    central thesis of this tale about three lost souls swimming in a
    fishbowl year after year. Alas, this movie could also be about the
    inner workings of a call girl organization and their meandering,
    hopeless pawns in the game of sexual chess. Or it could be about
    petty theft. Either way, this movie is outstanding in its achievement
    in the field of excellence because the viewer chooses what they can
    get out of the movie rather than the director feeding you a linear,
    mindless story. If you have a limited imagination, you will have a
    narrow scope as to what you can decipher from this movie. That being
    said, a lego block is merely a piece of plastic to someone who cannot
    see what will become of it. So, what is friends? A good movie.

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