Full Grown Men

2008, Movie, NR, 0 mins

Review

FULL GROWN MEN
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David Munro's dark comedy, co-written with his wife, Xandra Castleton, follows a 35-year-old Peter Pan on a desultory road trip to "Diggityland," the Florida-based amusement park where he hopes to recapture his childhood/

"I want to go back to the past," whines Alby Gutrero (Matt McGrath) as he packs his action figures under the watchful glare of his exasperated wife, Suzanne (Katie Kreisler). "Who wouldn't? When you're a kid, it's your job to have fun. Now I'm 35 and having fun is a federal offense." That would make Suzanne buzz killer no.1 – she's apparently had enough of raising two children, only one of whom is literally a child, and sends Alby running home to his mentally damaged mother (Nadia Nardini) – she's too out of it to care if Alby spends all day on the couch, eating Froot Loops and watching "Martial Arts Theater." Alby looks up his best friend from kindergarten, chubby Elias Gruber (Judah Friedlander), who's matured enough to become a successful special-education teacher and has less-than-idyllic memories of his own childhood – Elias, after all, spent it on the receiving end of Alby's mean-spirited pranks and mockery. But when Elias makes the mistake of letting on that he's going to Diggetyland for a professional conference, the oblivious Alby invites himself along for the ride, setting the stage for baby-man squabbling, encounters with roadside eccentrics – including a disgruntled, gun-toting former Diggityland employee (Alan Cumming), a bartender (Amy Sedaris) studying to be a clown, and a middle-aged woman (Deborah Harry) with a mermaid fixation – and a series of canned emotional revelations.

McGrath's performance as a self-centered, defiantly immature man who thinks is squirm-inducingly convincing, but while Castleton and Munro clearly recognize that Alby's childishness is pathological, they don't seem to know what to do with him, they other than use his wanderings as an opportunity to showcase the melancholy whimsy of Florida's roadside attractions. There's no menace to his misadventures – even an ignominious pummeling by dwarves fails to put a dent in his fatuous self-delusions – and that too rings true to life, it's dramatically unsatisfying. leave a comment --Maitland McDonagh

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