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  • Breakfast with Curtis | Review

    LA Film Fest 2012

    By | June 24, 2012

    Director: Laura Colella

    Writer: Laura Colella

    Starring: Theo Green, Jonah Parker, David Parker, Aaron Jungels, Yvonne Parker, Virginia Laffey, Adele Parker, Laura Colella, Gideon Parker

    Writer-director-actor Laura Colella’s Breakfast with Curtis begins as a seemingly grumpy old hippie threatens to crush the skull of a nine year old boy. We then jump forward five years… Now 14 years old, we can only assume that Curtis (Jonah Parker) has stayed far away from his hippie neighbors – or at least their cat – ever since his frightening encounter with Syd (Theo Green), the de facto leader of the Purple Citadel. It is also not surprising that Curtis is still a bit skittish when Syd makes a neighborly attempt to speak with him.

    See, Syd runs Aftermath Books, an online bookstore. In an effort to keep up with the Joneses of the Internet, he has decided to record a series of video blogs showcasing his wine-fueled diatribes to attract more traffic to his website. Syd recently overheard that Curtis has shown a propensity for making videos, making Curtis the ideal (read: cheapest) candidate to direct, shoot and edit Syd’s vlogs. It takes some convincing, but Curtis eventually acquiesces and together they begin to make some movie magic.

    The scenes of Syd and Curtis working together — and the clips of their resulting projects — are really the only interesting parts of Breakfast with Curtis. Otherwise, this film loses its purported authenticity whenever its non-professional cast decides to over-emit and overact. Breakfast with Curtis is far from the life-caught-unawares production I expected it to be; instead, this ragtag group of non-professional actors hams it up for the camera. The end result is a no frills, home theatrical project in which a bunch of inebriated housemates decide to put on a show – and, unlucky for us, record it on video.

    Yes, it is as goofy and low-quality as it sounds. It’s success hinges solely on our willingness to overlook its faults and witness its heart; which is something that many people have been willing and able to do, including critics and filmmakers whom I respect and admire. So, I guess that just means that I am just a cold hearted snake…

    Rating: 4/10

    Topics: Film Reviews, News | 5 Comments »

    • Patrick Clarke

      cold hearted and cynical

    • Rinda

      The writer’s anger is palpable – frustrated wannabe filmmakers hate chick filmmakers…

    • Simpsondon

      Rinda – I find your comment to be much more hateful than anything included in my review. I made absolutely no mention of the gender of the filmmaker, nor does gender have anything to do with my opinion on the film. Just because I am male and I published a negative opinion on a female filmmaker’s film does not mean that I hate female filmmakers. In fact, I consider myself to be a champion of female filmmakers. You want proof? Check out my Top 10 lists from the last few years. (For 2011, the top five narrative films were all directed by women.) To further clarify, I am not a wannabe filmmaker, nor am I frustrated.

    • Rinda

      To further clarify, your
      “top five narratives” are three documentaries and two narratives, and they’re
      in the top ten. I’ll qualify my first statement. Female American filmmakers
      have made great headway in documentary film, where projects are often self-funded
      or supported by grants at the outset. The rare narrative film by a female
      director that sees the light of day is usually about a tragic or extremely
      down-and-out subject, whereas ventures into comedic, everyday or unconventional
      stories that manage to get made are often met with this type of overblown
      negative critical response. The tone comes across as reactionary and unbalanced
      compared to the slack cut for the majority of (male-directed) films. As a
      critic you shouldn’t “champion” female filmmakers – just be aware of where your spitefulness is coming from.

    • Simpsondon

      Its obviously not worth debating this with you, since you have your own personal agenda that you are trying to drag me into. I really don’t appreciate the assumptions you are making about me, lumping me in with your grand conspiracy theories about male film critics. You can read all you want into the tone of this one particular review (though I don’t agree with any of your accusations), just don’t accuse me of cutting male directors any slack. It is clear that you have not read anything else I have written. I would also like to point out that you looked at the wrong year-end list. This is mine: http://smellslikescreenspirit.com/2011/12/dons-favorite-narrative-films-of-2011/ (Note: there are no documentaries on this list.)