Thursday, June 01, 2017

Dating My Mother

Dating My Mother, dir. Mike Roma, 2017 USA, 84 min. 💖
Friday, June 16, 4:00pm, Castro Theatre • World Première
Saturday, June 24, 4:00pm, Victoria Theatre
Danny (Patrick Reilly) & mom Joan (Kathryn Erbe) in Dating My Mother
Danny, our anti-hero, is a desultory recent college graduate, living with his widowed mother while he tries to land a job writing for television and occasionally looking for love in all the wrong apps. His mother, too, is trying to start back into dating. The two of them have a decidedly unusual mother-son relationship: a delicately balanced co-dependent enmeshing of complementary neuroses with more than a soupçon of creepy weirdness. Indeed, the very first scene is the two of them (non-conjugally) sharing a bed — not an isolated occurrence for them.

Much like the main character, Dating My Mother takes its sweet time getting its shit together, but the ending is worth sticking it out. The scenes seemingly aimlessly plod along, sometimes clunky and awkward like our protagonist, until finally they blossom forth in full splendor. The conceit of having Danny’s online acquaintances appear in the room with him, speaking their conversation, is a refreshing break from what would have been an overwhelming cascade of smartphone screen grabs, allowing the audience to relax and enjoy his online misadventures. Some of the early scenes felt too much like actors reading a script, but in the last 20 minutes or so, helped by supporting performances from the likes of Kathy Najimy and Paul Iacono, all those loose threads come together, building to an unexpectedly emotional and cathartic crescendo.

Definitely a MUST SEE for anyone who is, was, or thinks you might someday be, a twentysomething who hasn’t quite figured out career. And for you unemployed layabouts with nothing better to do at 4:00 on a Friday afternoon, come to the world première!

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