My Rating: 6/10
Other People is a 2016 comedy/drama about a family dealing with cancer. David, a gay man, returns to his hometown filled with super awkward people from his past, and a politely homophobic father, to help with his dying mother.
David is struggling. Like bad. His life is falling apart, his job prospects as a writer for TV are grim, he’s broken up with his boyfriend, and now as he’s already drowning in his own life, his mother’s struggle with cancer has become this looming dark force pervading everything else. And everything he’s dealing with, he feels like he has to deal with on his own.
The comedy element is understated. There’s a bit of awkward gallow’s humour sprinkled in, more so in the first half, but all these characters are likeable. They all have their moments. Everyone seems to have a story or two about the past to tell to lighten the mood, and many of those stories are mildly inappropriate, but cute and relatable. Actually, everything about this movie is relatable as fuck.
The writing and the performances were amazing. Molly Shannon played the mother so well, and gave us glimpses of her usual quirky roles, with a heaping dose of tragedy, and I had no idea she could do something so damn sad, but she did. And she did it well. That being said, I found it kinda boring.
I kept checking to see how much time was left. If I do that once, that’s par for the course, because it’s rare that a movie can keep me captivated the entire time, but for this one, I checked multiple times.
There were some painfully awkward and distressing moments. Even a brief sex scene that somehow managed to be not hot at all and completely embarrassing, but also kinda cute? Actually, to be honest, that last sentence pretty much sums up this entire movie.
It is a good movie. But more from a relatable, cathartic perspective for people who have gone through tragic illnesses like cancer. From an entertainment perspective? It almost hit that mark but didn’t quite make it. It is heavy. It is sad. It is kinda boring, and it is funny. If you want a movie that will make you cringe and laugh and feel bad for all the characters involved for two hours, I’d definitely recommend this. If you’re looking for an entertaining comedy that will have you in stitches, this is not it. This is an emotional investment kinda movie.
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Sam Clover is an author of M/M speculative fiction. Though she dabbles in a variety of genres, dark themes always find ways to permeate her work. She is a prairie girl from east of the Canadian Rockies, and a proud member of the LGBTQ+ community. Her debut book “Cold Snap” was released by Ninestar Press in December of 2020.