"Life Comes Pretty Fast"
A Review of "Dean" by Nathan H. Box
Director: Demetri Martin, Writer: Demetri Martin, Starring: Demetri Martin, Kevin Kline, Gillian Jacobs
Rating: 4 Stars, SHOWTIME!
For my 13th film of the 43rd Annual Seattle International Film Festival, I wanted to see a familiar face. I have been following the comedy of Demetri Martin since college. When I saw a movie directed, written, and starring him on the schedule, I jumped at the opportunity to see it.
"Dean" is a comedy about finding humor in death, grief, and trying to move forward. Dean, played brilliantly by Martin, is a New York cartoon illustrator who decides he needs a break after losing his mother. While in LA, he falls hard for a woman. This chance at love is new, refreshing, and an escape from the realities awaiting him back home; like his father trying to sell the family home.
Not since "Garden State" has a film so expertly explored the topic of death and remorse. On more than one occasion, Dean finds himself lost in the crowd. He feels awkward in his own skin. As an audience member, it is left for you to decide whether this sense of self comes from pain or a desire to guard one's heart. Much like "Garden State," Dean's love interest comes out of nowhere. In "Dean," they meet at a party in the Hollywood hills. Here, his awkwardness is on full display, but he decides to take a chance. As I watched their paths continually cross, I felt a sense of pride for our main character. Having lost someone close to me, I know getting back out there is often the most challenging part.
This movie isn't without fault but possesses nothing too damning. Rather, it is an honest portrayal of death and grief. It is also a display of the many talents of Demetri Martin. As the credits rolled, I rushed to IMBD.com to try and find out what projects he has coming next. If for no other reason, this potential for something even better in his and our futures is worth the price of admission.
Be good to each other,