*We’re still on an image break for the next couple of weeks*
Ben (B.J Novak) is a writer in New York who thrives on hookup culture. He’s not interested in being tied down to anyone. When we first meet him, he and John Meyer of all people are shooting the shit and talking about how they store hookup names in their phones. So imagine Ben’s surprise when he gets a call from Ty (Boyd Holbrook) who tells him his girlfriend is dead and he needs to attend her funeral in Texas. She apparently made their relationship out to be far more than it was, and he finds himself intrigued enough by her death, and possible murder to pitch it to his friend Eloise (Issa Rae) as a podcast idea.
B.J Novak is a great writer, and that doesn’t get said enough. I feel he’s only talked about in relation to The Office, or his relationship with Mindy Kaling. But even if he hasn’t been putting a lot of great thing on screen lately, his writing has always been solid and this script is no different. It’s very tight and you can tell the ideals really meant something to him. He said he went through many iterations of this script, and I believe that. But I bet the dialogue at least was consistent throughout.
The downfall of knowing so much about Novak’s career is that it’s really distracting that he’s essentially playing himself. (He’s a Jewish guy named Ben from Boston who is allegedly a fuckboi just like Movie Ben) I wish he had cast someone else as his lead. It feels slightly pretentious. It’s not necessarily a bad thing. Novak IS pretentious, and not in an insulting way, but it was something I have to talk about. He already had his hands full with writing and directing this. Putting someone else in front of the camera might have given him an opportunity to do something more with the film visually and maybe he would’ve had time to properly coach some of the other cast. Except Rae and Holbrook, they were great.
So it this for you? If you’re a fan of anyone involved and enjoys sharp comedy and social messages, then I’d say check this out!