The Extra Man: Review

16 Aug

The tagline for The Extra Man is “A Sexless Comedy.” At first, this seems to be quite a joke… but it’s not.

Now, that doesn’t mean that the movie completely ignores sex, it just makes sex an action that isn’t necessary or fulfilling for life.  Therefore, you can enjoy life through the finer things aside from carnal love making.

I suppose the biggest issue I have with the film is that it tried too hard.  Every character has a quirk and every character is handicapped in some way.  Whether this may be through sexual orientation, the physical body (appearance and the inner workings), financial means, or any other affliction.  This may just be an overly honest portrayal of mankind or a push for more comedy.  Either way, it did not feel right.

The film follows the young Louis Ives (Paul Dano) after he has been asked to leave a professorship in New Jersey.  He moves to Manhattan, and he begins working at a green magazine company at which he accidentally eats ribs for lunch in front of vegans.  Along the way, he must find housing.  This is when he meets the charming enigma that is Henry Harrison (Kevin Kline) who lives the finer life by enjoying dinners and aristocratic events with older woman.  He is cheap but acts high and mighty while having an affection for Christmas balls.

Louis Ives deals with conflicts over his sexuality while Henry Harrison aims to regain the adoration of Millionairesses and reclaim a room in Palm Springs.

The film does have its pleasant moments, but they do not override the nagging elbow in the side humor.  It is shot with a nod to films from far-back generations through its use of circle fade-outs/ins and the occasional sepia tone.  The shots come off as simple to possibly enhance the quirky plot.  In the end, it seems like the plot is more of a distraction to the filmmaking than the style is to the plot.

The film is lackluster and not very memorable.  There’s really no fingers to point at anyone in particular, and the film just has an overall “meh” feeling to it.

Oh, I almost forgot.  Katie Holmes annoyed the fuck out of me.

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