Review: Dean

Title: Dean
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Director: Demetri Martin
Starring: Demetri Martin, Gillian Jacobs, Kevin Kline
Runtime: 1 hr 34 mins

What It Is: Demetri Martin’s Dean is a cartoonist who is dealing with the dissolution of an engagement and the death of his mother. Meanwhile, his father Robert (Kline) is dealing with his grief by selling Dean’s childhood home. Dean, however, has no idea how to deal with this grief. While out in L.A. on a “business trip” Dean meets the lovely Nicky (Jacobs)  who is “N to the Icky.” Nicky opens Dean’s world, which has been rocked by the death of his mother. Perhaps he’ll finally finish that book he’s been trying to write.

What We Think: I absolutely adored this movie. I think in order to love it you have to be a fan of Demetri Martin and his comedic style, as it is a quasi-mumblecore mix of hipster illustration and minimalism. I could much liken this to Zach Braff’s Garden State in that a central comedic figure is trying to nail down love and grieving in both films. There are quite a few similarities, including a bi-coastal trip and a girl that could save the main character’s life. Some may call the lack of character development a detriment, but quite frankly I’m happy we got to spend even a bit of time in this world. I did, however, think they dropped the ball a bit on the Nicky character and her development.

Our Grade: B+

Martin may have a future as a director. Who knows? I never thought he’d be a love interest in a movie and then came In a World… so maybe he’s more of an artist than we think he is. I recommend Dean. I like what it brought to the table and feel its appeal is rather broad. If you like the RomCom genre, this one’s especially for you. If you like quirky mumblecore, it’s for you. If you want a story of grief and love and healing, it’s definitely for you! Go in expecting a good time and I think you’ll find one.