DVD Review: Palo Alto

"I'm not depressed."

April (Emma Roberts) tells that to her mother early on in the film and it sets the tone. All of these kids seem a little depressed in their own way. April is a shy girl who starts an affair with her soccer coach. (James Franco) She also has a little crush on Teddy (Jack Kilmer) a stoner who's a great artist, but constantly finds himself getting in trouble, usually involving his obnoxious friend, Fred. (Nat Wolff) Fred is also using Emily (Zoe Levin) who's been branded "the class slut" but really she just doesn't seem to know what to do with her sexuality.

The film is directed by Gia Coppola, niece of Sofia Coppola. It's very obvious she's trying to imitate her as well. I like Sofia's style, so it wasn't a problem for me, but Gia didn't seem to stand on her own feet directing wise. I didn't get a sense of her, only a sense of whom she was trying to emulate. She's young, and this is her first feature, so she's got plenty of time to find her own style, and I will watch when that time comes.

Palo Alto started off very interesting, with Roberts and Kilmer carrying the film. They're the two I cared about. Wolff and Levin didn't deliver compared to them. The film tended to drag on a bit towards the end, but I suppose it was a pretty good portrayal of the teenage party life. This was adapted from a collection of short stories written by James Franco, and I always think he has something interesting to say. Even if this film wasn't perfect, there's potential here.

Recommended: Yes. Not my favorite, but it makes for a good afternoon watch.

Grade: C+

Memorable Quote: "I wish I didn't care about anything. But I do, I care about everything too much." - April (Emma Roberts)

8 comments:

  1. i completely forgot i even saw this film lol. it dragged the entire time to me! ugh. sounds like you liked it a little more than i did, thankfully.

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    1. lol. Gotta love it when you forget you see a film. I did that recently too. I read someone's review, thought it sounded interesting, then was like "wait..I've seen this." I even gave it a good grade. Whoops.

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  2. I wanna see this based on the fact that it's from a Coppola as I want to know what she has inherited from her grandfather and her aunt.

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    1. The style is pretty much exactly like Sofia's. Gia doesn't really stand on her own two feet at all.

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  3. This one is high on my must watch list partly because I'm intrigued by the choices Roberts and Franco are making when it comes to films. I love how both of them are experimenting and that's always a good sign from the "younger" film generation. As for the direction, I was afraid of what you said, that Gia might try to do a Virgin Suicides-esq thing, but again I don't really mind. Looking forward, but now I know I have to be in the right mood to really watch this film.

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    1. I hope you like it. I'm a big Franco fan. I know he gets a lot of flack, but I think he's very talented and I'd actually like to read the short stories these were adapted from.

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  4. I loved this film, but it's not for everyone. The cinematography, score, and performances from Wolff and Roberts were great.

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    1. I wanted to punch Wolff in this movie. lol

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