People, Places, Things
Directed by James C. Strouse and Jim Strouse
Starring Jemaine Clement, Regina Hall, Stephanie Allynne, Jessica Williams and Michael Chernus
Will Henry is a newly single graphic novelist balancing being a parent to his young twin daughters and teaching a classroom full of college students, all the while trying to navigate the rich complexities of new love and letting go of the woman who left him.
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★★★★ review by Eli Hayes on Letterboxd
My jaw and cheekbones hurt from smiling so much.
★★★½ review by ellie on Letterboxd
the line "i'm just having a bad life, it'll be over eventually" is gonna be my next tattoo
★★★★ review by James Healey on Letterboxd
People, Places, Things is the third feature from professor and friend of mine Jim Strouse. Knowing the film was loosely based of his personal experience, the film was equally heartbreaking to watch as it was hilarious. Jemaine Clement kills it. He's even better in this than What We Do In The Shadows. Because of this, I now have an interest to check out Flight of the Conchords. Even the two daughters are great in this, definitely some of the better child acting I've seen. Very proud of you Jim for making it to Sundance again, can't wait to see what you come up with next!
★★★★ review by Vanina on Letterboxd
What an absolutely lovely film. From the poster and the fact that I had heard nothing about this, I kind of feared the worst, thinking it might just be another mumblecore-y, twee-y comedy, but instead it feels fresh, relatable and genuine. It's relatively mild on the quirky front, which is an absolute blessing. It's content very much equal to style, which seems a rare thing in the world of American indies these days.
Jemaine Clement stars as a graphic novelist Will Henry who discovers his wife has been having an affair while celebrating their twins' 5th birthday party. Thinking they had been doing fine, his world comes down around him, and as he adjusts to being a newly single father, he throws himself into his artwork and his job teaching. While the scenes where he teaches class on the graphic novel could be considered too on the nose, they're well-written and very funny (especially with rather dim but earnest student Paul), doing a great job of hiding the exposition.
I am a sucker for films about artists, feeling the same way about them as other people feel about films about cooking. As Will meets his student's mother, a Lit professor at Columbia, they discuss the validity of the graphic novel, which is probably super meta, but done subtly and there's some great dialogue strewn throughout the film, not overwrought, but feeling like carefully-thought out speech bubbles in Will's panels.
The casting is what makes this film so great. Jemaine Clement would have been some Judd Apatow or 'SNL' alum in a lesser film, and Regina Hall and Jessica Williams (whom I love) are a wonderful mother-daughter team. It's interesting how the film gets you to switch allegiance throughout the film, making it feel very dynamic.
Very funny, sweet and well-written - just what I needed today.
★★★★ review by Holly-Beth on Letterboxd
i... am... so... in... love... with... jemaine... clement...
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