Amusement and being moved emotionally; these were my hopes for Greg Kinnear’s directorial debut Phil. A drama / comedy about a depressed dentist who’s in the midst of a mid life crisis when his happiest patient suddenly commits suicide. After learning of this tragic news, Phil dedicates himself – in a far from reasonable way to finding out why his favourite patient ended things.
Also starring Bradley Whitford, Taylor Schilling and Emily Mortimer, the phrase ‘this is surprisingly good’ is unfortunately not where my mind went as Kinnear’s movie played. Instead, my mind was busy saying ‘Phil… Phil… Phil, Phil, Phil’.
The reason for all the Phils is this, there’s a certain simplicity to Kinnear’s script and general execution that meant pretty early on in the movie, I was barely engaged. Even though I didn’t hate Bradley Whitford’s performance, liked Jay Duplass’s character and I believed Kinnear’s Phil to be truly miserable, what I didn’t believe is several of the decisions made by certain people in the story. And perhaps even more crucially, I didn’t believe that anyone should have been convinced of Phil as a native of Greece. The fact that several key characters appeared to be convinced is a truth that only made the whole experience of Phil feel even more ludicrous.
I’m clearly not going to recommend watching this one, except of course, if you really, definitely, absolutely, life depends on it must must.
Happy Film Loving