Somewhat amusingly it turns out I saw this in 2013 and wrote a whole review on Letterboxd. I have no recollection of it whatsoever. Back then I said:
Everything I tend to dislike, is in this film. The ‘quirky’ narration, the ‘real’ guy with issues and his girlfriend who appears to have none, cameos… you name the indie trope, and it’s here.
That said, I sort of got sucked right into this and enjoyed myself. This is a hate-able film, but I’m not in that camp. I liked it.
The narration sucks though, and to me feels like a lack of faith in the source material. This film could be good enough to talk to the audience without having to literally have Birbiglia look into the camera and speak to the viewer, but they chose the easy option. We don’t learn anything about Matt as a person through these parts, it’s just an opportunity to get some jokes in, in case the film has stopped being interesting at any point.
The girlfriend seems likeable but they don’t develop her at all as a character. Sure, she says things and does things, but it’s all bland and pedestrian. Compare this to Matt, now Matt, there’s a guy with problems and bad dreams and a career and insecurities, and loads of other stuff. She’s boring and is just a thing he has to deal with.
At one point Matt says that people think the best part of his life is his girlfriend. Well, it works the the [sic] other way - the only thing his girlfriend seems to have is her job, and him.
The more I think about this the less stars I’m giving it, but ultimately I had a good time. It made me laugh, and it made me think. I don’t think I’ll remember it next week though.
The final line is somewhat ironic.
This time round I must say I had more of an allergic reaction to it. Perhaps it’s a sign of the times but the self-indulgent rambling tone pissed me right off.
Forget what 2013 Ben said, avoid avoid avoid.