Review: The Hollars

You should call more.

John Hollar (John Krasinski) lives in New York working at a publishing office that he hates. His girlfriend Rebecca (Anna Kendrick) is pregnant, but he won't marry her despite her being a very caring and understanding person. He gets a phone call that his mother, Sally (Margo Martindale) has just found out she has a brain tumor and must go into surgery. He leaves back to his hometown in somewhereville, USA to spend time with his mother, father Don(Richard Jenkins) and his older brother, Ron. (Sharlto Copley, barely hanging on to an American accent)

The Hollars gives off an immediate Garden State vibe, and unfortunately it can't shake it despite its wonderful cast. Don't get me wrong, the film has a lot of heart. And in those moments, it shines, but for the rest of it it staggers around between over the top and forced. There's a scene in the film where John is swinging on a rope swing over a river, fully clothed. You know that rope is going to break and he'll fall in. The film does this often, it becomes very predictable.

Money problems? Check. Drama with the upcoming baby? check. The ex that tries to get in the picture? Check, check, check. It all feels very unnatural. John has dinner with his high school sweetheart who isn't over him, despite (I'm assuming) everyone involved being in their late 30's. An awful lot of time to get over something like that.  Ron takes issue with his ex wife moving on to another man in the most contrived dialogue imaginable and makes some of the dumbest decisions I've ever seen. The film also tries to go out of its way to excuse John for not committing to Rebecca, despite her not doing a single thing to warrant it.

Martindale is the absolute star of this. She's wonderfully sweet as Sally and you're on her side throughout. Kendrick comes close behind her as Rebecca. Jenkins is always reliable, but even he feels like he's trying too hard here. This is just another example of a bad movie happening to a good cast.

Recommended: No

Grade: C

Memorable Quote: "You won't know you're okay until you get there." - Sally (Margo Martindale)

14 comments:

  1. I started to think, how have I never heard of this movie with a loveable cast like that, and then, well, maybe this is why :(
    I'm tempted to give it a go anyway, but you're normally spot on with your recommendations! Great review :)
    - Allie

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    1. This kind of fell off my radar. I remember when they were shooting it because I follow Anna Kendrick on social media, then I forgot about it until it turned up at my theater. Definitely a rental if that.

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  2. Wait...someone doesn't want to marry Anna Kendrick? This film is unrealistic already.

    Can't say I have any desire to see this...

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    1. lmao right? I felt like the film was trying to make excuses for why John wouldn't want her, but she seems like a pretty decent person.

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  3. Is this in theatres now? I haven't heard much about it. I guess this is why.

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    1. Yes, it is. It's getting zero press. I was surprised when it turned up in mine.

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  4. I'm powerless to resist this cast, but I hate manufactured quirk. Sounds like this one has a lot of that....but it also has Anna Kendrick.

    So. Yeah. Put me down in pen.

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    1. I really wish Garden State was never made, I feel like it always casts a negative shadow on a film that's remotely Garden State-ish.

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  5. One of my friends were lucky enough to see it at Sundance and she raved about this. Glad to see Krasinski branching out into directing, who knows maybe one day he gets to direct his own wife in a movie.

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    1. I'd love to see him direct Emily. I'm glad your friend liked it. I wish I would've liked it more.

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  6. Yup, it sounds predictable and with a tear in one's eye. My dad died of a brain tumour as well so I think I will pass.

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  7. I sorta judged the movie by it's trailer and wasn't too fascinated by it. Krasinski seems to like off-beat indies and it's unfortunate he hasn't found one that is better-suited for him.

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    1. Yeah, this is definitely nothing to rush out to see. Well meaning, but a miss.

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