Kicking and Screaming

LetterboxD review link

Recent college grads, with no job prospects, hanging around their college hometown, or still inextricably tied to their parents life – these descriptors, in 1995, were saved for Liberal Arts students. Now, you could describe 90% of recent college grads this way. Even Van Wilder wouldn’t play the same way to a contemporary audience anymore.

None the less, Kicking and Screaming was not as impressive, to me as Baumbach’s other films including Frances Ha, The Meyerowitz Stories and The Squid and the Whale. His characteristic mumble-core-esque dialog and plotting, smart distillations of friendship and family dynamics and ability to capture modern American anxieties and malaise are all present. And in many ways this film shows the germ of ideas he later explored in films like Mistress America and While We’re Young.

An odd thing I noticed: while browsing reviews of this film on letterboxd, there were an uncomfortable number of men saying something to the effect of, “this film really captured what my life is like right now. I just graduated college, have no job and spend a lot of time masturbating in my parents’ basement.” We have to do something about this, both in terms of diversifying the letterboxd community and fixing society.