Golden Exits (2017)

Golden Exits
Director: Alex Ross Perry
Writer: Alex Ross Perry
Cast: Emily Browning, Adam Horovitz, Mary-Louise Parker, Lily Rabe, Jason Schwartzman, Chloë Sevigny, Analeigh Tipton, Craig Butta, Keith Poulson
Seen on: 28.2.2019

Naomi (Emily Browning) has come alle the way from Australia to Brooklyn to work with archivist Nick (Adam Horovitz) who was hired by his sister-in-law Gwen (Mary-Louise Parker) to go through her recently deceased father’s belongings and catalogue them. Naomi’s arrival sparks the jealousy of Nick’s wife Alyssa (Chloë Sevigny) who had her mistrust of Nick proven many times. But Naomi is more interested in Buddy (Jason Schwartzman), a family friend who knew Naomi when she was a kid and has now promised her to show her a bit of the city. Buddy seems also interested in Naomi, but he is married to Jess (Analeigh Tipton) who shares her worries with her sister Sam (Lily Rabe) and vice versa.

At the beginning of Golden Exits, Naomi states that she would like to write stories about everyday people who don’t do anything exciting but are still interesting. That is very obviously the mission statement for this film. The result is pretty boring but in an unusual way – not a torturous kind of boring, but rather a bland kind..

The film poster showing drawings of the main characters in pairs, talking to each other. Every person is in two conversations, making a chain of conversations.

Personally, I am convinced that all people are interesting if you really take the time to listen and to get to know them. So, I would agree with the wish to tell stories about the people we meet every day, instead of stories about the exceptional, the heroes, the achievers. The trouble is that Golden Exits doesn’t actually manage to dig into its characters to make them really interesting. And in the end it is full of deeply philosophical conversations that are not usual routine at all.

Additionally, the film’s perspective is often so unabashedly cishet male that I found it rather aggravating. And that even thought it really is a lot about the women in the film. But it is there that this “maleness” (without wanting to essentialize) becomes particularly obvious.

Naomi (Emily Browning) sitting on some stairs outside.

The film mostly just flows along, achieving neither great heights, nor great lows. The cast isn’t bad at all, with Lily Rabe and Analeigh Tipton being particularly great – both of them were my absolute highlights in the film.

But it just didn’t achieve what it set out to do: cutting to the heart of people to show how interesting they are. Instead it remains flat and just too boring. Both the film and its characters are therefore easily forgotten.

Gwendolyn (Mary-Louise Parker) and Alyssa (Chloë Sevigny) looking flabbergasted.

Summarizing: eh.

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