The Adults

The Adults
The Adults
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The film is acted with competence, and the buried resentments of family life are portrayed realistically. Terribly Dull And Irritatingly Annoying Do Not Even Begin To Cover It. Yet another subplot, not this one a musical though, sees them playing out moments from their youth via bizarre hallucinations. But to say that it gets old and irritating quickly is an understatement. The problem here is that the bad affects good intentions and changes the pacing significantly.

Eric (Michael Cera) arrives at his hotel in upstate New York. Since settling down in Portland, he has never been back home to see his sisters again. Eric calls Rachel (Hannah Gross) and awkwardly tries to catch up. It never occurred to him she had been cheated on by her boyfriend who broke up with her months ago. Rachel blames him for being indifferent towards her situation. He hasn’t bothered to keep in touch or show interest about her private life one bit. Quickly he changed topics and asked about Maggie? Rachel informs him Maggie ended school early and moved out . A shocked Eric promises he will come by later.

Eric knocks on the door of an old high school friend. Dennis (Wavyy Jonez) does not seem overly excited at seeing him again; rather he seems quite calm about it all.. From Dennis’ response does he still play underground poker games?. There’s a weekly game where stakes are very low, Dennis tells him.. Finally there’s a little excitement in Eric’s voice; for once.. Definitely I’ve got to go.’ Well, if you really want,’ answers Dennis reluctantly.

Finally, Eric meets both Rachel and Maggie at a local diner place.. A simple interaction with the waitress makes the conversation laced with barbs.. For the first time they begin showing signs of anger between themselves and resentment starts leaking out.. Then that evening when everyone returns home, nothing takes place yet everything changes – as Eric comments about “how things haven’t changed”. Rachel blames him for abandoning them after their parents died. In fact, she had to handle everything herself not to let their house be sold. You can’t blame anything on me anyways. . Trying to diffuse the situation only makes it worse as he tries to explain how he couldn’t have imagined what they were doing. Rachel tells him something is wrong with Maggie; she doesn’t know why but she seems depressed too. However, Eric’s main priority at this point is his poker games while Maggie expects all of them meet soon again.

The second act of The Adults builds up gradually.. We learn more about Eric and his sisters’ contrasting personalities that have kept them apart from each other forever. When Eric loses a few hands in the first game he gets angry and bitter because he is a card-shark poker player.. He makes sure the others continue playing until they are all cleaned out by him.. Money isn’t an issue with Eric though. What turns him on is reading players and beating them strategically. He wants everyone sitting around the table to know that-after all, he’s been able to prove so far, that he is better than any one of them when it comes down to it.” Have you ever played a gambling game like this? Oh yes! This sort of thing turned out into a major disaster for him since now he gets invited by people who offer even greater bets..

Eric’s departure was a gap in their lives. Rachel hated him for it while Maggie had no idea how to feel about herself, and by the end of the film she becomes emotionally drained from several breakdowns. Rachel hates Eric departing that much while Maggie is very honest; she has no idea what to do with herself and experiences several meltdowns as the plot continues. When both her parents died, Maggie was still a child. They were her moorings towards sanity. She floats like a leaf in the wind seeking attachment.

The writer/director (Dustin Guy Defa) uses songs as the string that binds his characters together, allowing them an outlet for anger. That is why music plays such an important part in The Adults and especially “This is Me”. At one point on their way out of the house, Maggie descends down the back stairs singing a silly song and dancing around. Like children again suggests they join him Eric and Rachel can’t even dance along with him. She drops this act quickly when Rachel starts humming it at Eric in some weird voice. He identifies with her based on his younger self and responds accordingly. This opens up tidal waves of choral mud flinging through heightened bickering until gametes meet.

The name “Adults” itself is not without meaning because these people are acting like children all along.There is no suggestion that they are grown up enough to have understood where they parted ways.The story’ climax tells it all.It does not seem to be only stopping short of reaching peace but going childish rather than talking things over.In other words, just avoiding confrontation would be better off making more angst for everyone.The disturbing thing is however that Defa’s use of musical scores makes me want to plug my ears every time they start singing.I think this sort of behavior by characters makes it hard to find sympathy for them.

It premiered at Tribeca Usa under Dweck Productions and Savage Rose Films and is called The Adults.

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