Other People

David, a struggling comedy writer fresh off from breaking up with his boyfriend, moves from New York City to Sacramento to help his sick mother. Living with his conservative father and much-younger sisters for the first time in ten years, he feels like a stranger in his childhood home. As his mother’s health declines, David frantically tries to extract meaning from this horrible experience and convince everyone (including himself) that he's "doing okay.”

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  • ★★★½ review by davidehrlich on Letterboxd

    a 30-year-old writer named David goes home to care for a parent who's dying of cancer before Christmas. I couldn't relate.

    not necessarily a great movie (it's a bit sketchy in key places, and Bradley Whitford has a doozy of a line about "debating" his son's sexuality), but trust me when i say that it captures its subject with rare accuracy and nuance. eerie how the process is so indivisibly personal, and yet threaded with so many commonalities. uncanny, really. and while i didn't think the performances were necessarily anything special... other then how Jesse Plemons nails how it feels to say "it's fine. i mean, it's not fine. but it's fine" for 9 months... i don't know what to say to anyone who thinks they were overblown.

  • ★★★★★ review by William Lorenz on Letterboxd

    Dear mom,

    Thanks. For everything. For allowing me to be who I am. For helping me find who I am. I know it's hard for you, my being this far away from home, but you're endless encouragement has been the best gift I could ever ask for.

    You know me better than anybody else. You know when I'm sad, when I'm happy, when I'm upset; you're there for me when I need you and you're respectful when I need space. Recently I went through a struggle in a relationship that I was in. I told everybody, friends, family, that everything was okay. The only person that was able to pick up on my sadness through the facade was my mother. She somehow, without any communication, knew almost exactly what was bothering me.

    I cried with her on a daily basis in the weeks leading up to college. I cried about the inevitable demise of my relationship, but also about the fact that I would be living somewhere without my mother for the first time in my life. This sentiment hadn't hit me until that moment. When it did, I finally realized just how much I'd be leaving behind.

    Mom, you're the best of humanity. You're the only person who fully understands me emotionally. I love you so much. I can't even comprehend how much you love me. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for everything you've ever done for me. I can't imagine a world without you in it. It would be much less bright.

    Love,

    William

  • ★★★½ review by Jared S. on Letterboxd

    Suffers from it's inability (or lack of desire) to break from those cancerous indie trappings, but makes up for it's conventionality with real bits of emotional release. We follow a family stricken with fear, with an inability to communicate as they prep for their mother/wife's early death due to cancer. As the story normally goes, the elevation of stakes due to this untimely passing allows for moments of catharsis within the family. Whether it be coming to terms with a failing career, grappling with your image within a familial context or reckoning with the fact that your father cannot accept your homosexuality; this family is offered another chance in the wake of a horrible event. It sounds cliched (and much of it is), but there are some truly inspired decisions made here. The suppression of anger and sadness feels real, very relatable in an unsettling way. The moments of agonizing awkwardness and homely warmth soar; delivered meaningfully by a talented cast and a mostly impressive script. There are some hiccups, like the aforementioned conformity to so many cliches, and some cringe-worthy dialogue; but Other People mostly rings true.

  • ★★★★½ review by Emily Housel on Letterboxd

    welp i'm bawling my eyes out rn 15 mins after the movie ended so uh yeah check it out i guess

  • ★★★½ review by Joan on Letterboxd

    when he had a breakdown in the grocery store because he couldn't find the laxatives and also his mom was dying... the MOST me

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