Drugstore June

Drugstore June
Drugstore June
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Drugstore June is a unique concept characterized by a snappy title and an ensemble cast of comedians as well as popular actors. Despite being witty and humorous, the writing doesn’t quite hit the mark of laugh-out-loud comedy.

It is rare to find a project like this one that has focus rather than competing visions. It was written by Esther Povitsky who acted as the main star and Nicholaus Goossen, its director/editor, their last (and only) hit flick being the 2006 cult comedy Grandma’s Boy. It is true that both Povitsky and Goossen knew what they wanted out of this movie but it could have been better executed.

Judging from the cover poster and title it may be logical to think that Drugstore June is about some girl who uses at least some form of drug – but this assumption would be incorrect. Instead, June appears as a totally sober 20-something young “Zillennial” who neither takes alcohol nor any other substance (she has never even tried alcohol before), but feels relaxed talking awkwardly to customers at her workplace whether they ought to take Xanax.

This film is more a commentary on the younger side of Millennials or older Gen Z’ers that struggle with their first half when June comes across as such caricature lifted straight out of a Bill Burr skit than any real person. The second part picks up again even though the ending along with revealing how mystery plays into the plot was not fulfilling.

The story follows slacker named June in her mid-20s still living at home. She loves live-streaming constantly for her small-but-devoted fanbase, but really loves Davey (Haley Joel Osment) who dumped her years ago.

June, portrayed by Povitsky stands out like Silverman during her early days although she is not nearly so funny. While she does an excellent job in playing June, the annoying and highly strange character, it doesn’t stop her from being more irritating than funny except for some very well written one-liners. It is mainly hard not to hate June. “It’s a good thing it’s not a crime to have a bad personality, cause you’d have a life sentence,” one of the cops says.

She is not someone you want to see succeed. Her mother (Beverly D’Angelo) and gambling addict father (James Remar) are no match when it comes to spoiling June, whose brother Jonathan (played by Brandon Wardell) is Zoomer personified and who eats nothing but junk food throughout the entire movie as she also wishes she had gluten allergy.

In June’s mind, everything must pertain to her for some reason – including the pharmacy getting robbed. She decides solving the crime by herself and brings along her boss Bill (the hilarious Bobby Lee who deserved more screen time). The discrete bar they are at gives a lead on finding this dispensary in front of which Owen had previously met her as he stole from it.

The story is rather unique and had much potential. The writing is crisp although not as good as “Grandma’s Boy” which will make one laugh aloud. Also, this film would have been in a worse state if it did not benefit from the amazing soundtrack of Alex Geringas that was complemented by Goosen’s snappy editing.

In addition, more use of comedians like Bobby Lee, Al Madrigal (from The Daily Show) could have lifted up the comedy. Lee has one of the funniest lines when a cop tells Bill he is giving off bad vibes and he responds by saying, “Is that how it works now? The police go by vibes?”

This contrastingly random appearance of Bill Burr in the movie as June’s doctor feels like something put together just to allow Burr to do five minutes from his stand-up act in there. It would have been funnier had it not felt forced into the movie.

Furthermore, the film neither looks like a comedy nor does it comment well. One of them once tells June that he wants to get a point through her “thick entitled millennial skull.” This part means so much more for the whole film than any other points and comes across as anachronistic. Old millennials are already 40ish with kids. June herself can be considered a Zillennial at best; too young for older Millennials to relate to, who will cringe at this joke, too old to live with parents according to those who made this film.

June finally has some moments of self-reflection and learns things – maybe; better than nothing. But it is better than no change at all maybe even though it feels more like a sidestep than forward progress. At some level her lessons feel earned but ultimately the whodunnit mystery of the pharmacy robbery was disappointing because its resolution was completely unearned

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