Review: Listen Up Philip

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Title: Listen Up Philip
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Director: Alex Ross Perry
Starring: Jason Schwartzman, Elizabeth Moss, Krysten Ritter
Runtime: 1 hr 49 mins

What It Is: Young published author Philip Lewis Friedman (Schwartzman) has just finished his second book, but that hasn’t stopped him from being a mess of a person. Philip has little to no social skills, and even less patience for the human race. His rather unplesant demeanor has finally caught the attention of his girlfriend Ashley, a photographer whose put up with him for two years now. I say put up with because Philip is a jerk plain and simple. He’s sardonistic, easy to anger and doesn’t care about anyone but himself, problem is he doesn’t like himself either. He’s starved for creativity, and that’s off-putting for a guy whose ego (which is massive) is tied to his ability to write.

What We Think: It’s an uncompromising character study of a truly unlikable character Schwartzman just eats all the scenes up with his sarcastic and he’s dripping with it. Elizabeth Moss has been in a lot of smaller films lately in her post- Mad Men career. I think it’s a great move because she’s certainly good in them. The general audience will more then likely not understand the beauty of what you witness here. You get the chance to study a person whose apathetic to the entirety of the human experience. It’s a decent arthousey film and one fans of smaller films will enjoy. Here in lies the issue it’s too ino itself, much like the character.

Our Grade: B, Solid acting and a great atmosphere about it really propel this film above mediocrity. This is a film not a lot of people are going to see, and that will likewise turn of many audiences off to this. Those who get it and stick with it will be treated to all the delights (that’s sarcasm) of Philip’s personality. His adventures in teaching, and his quest to figure out what the hell is going on here in this thing called life.

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