I left the beautiful Triskel Christchurch in Ireland as apart of 2017’s Cork Film Festival in a feeling of bemusement. Alex Ross Perry’s latest film – Golden Exit’s feels bland and overly self deprecating. The backdrop is Brooklyn, NY, and the film is plotted with great actors such as Chloe Sevigny, Jason Schwartzman, Mary-Louise Parker, Analeigh Tipton, and Emily Browning. However, the idea that the film expresses normalcy of real people, focused on relationships and societal issues – makes this a very dull watch.
Many of the characters feel dormant with dialogue that is unimaginative rather than compelling, giving the whole film more of a stage-play-type feel. The cinematography also doesn’t lend a hand in bolstering the story either, as you’re simply left hearing middle and upper-class people talk about nostalgia and youth like it’s going out of style.
Scenes in which Alyssa (Sevigny) is undeniably being an inadequate therapist to her patients and herself, makes you wonder why she refuses to express her love and loneliness to her very own husband. The fact that she can’t seem to have not even one, honest conversation with her spouse… appears a tad bit unrealistic.
Naomi (Browning) is strikingly so aloof, not once do I find myself worried about her quiet demeanor or desire to be wanted by Buddy (Schwartzman). Instead, the characters walk on eggshells around one another, whilst talking their anxieties, fears and insecurities to other people. Listen, I get it. And its desperate approach of trying hard to come off as “realistic”, but because of such – it actually does the complete opposite. You eventually try to comprehend why Naomi, who’s the WHOPPING age of twenty five, is keen on throwing some older Brooklynite’s lives into disarray in the first place.
The only characters who actually act like normal humans are Buddy and Jess (Tipton) portraying a young married couple going through a time of uncertainty, but even Buddy uses his younger wife’s age and their working confinements to be looked at as a huge reason for his wandering eye. Furthermore, Sam’s (Lily Rabe) uneasiness about where her life will end up and fear of turning into a single woman like Gwendolyn (Louise-Parker) is something I think a lot of people, especially New Yorkers can relate to. But here, these issues get drawn out OVER and OVER again – like a snake that’s eating its own tail.
Essentially, if you’re too old… there’s an issue. If you’re too young… there’s an issue. I understand the fact that people change over time. And that age, occupation, and marital status are things people tackle within their lives – but the execution here, epitomizes lackluster. At no point did I feel for any of these characters or the predicaments they were in, and, I think that was the whole purpose of this movie. By the end of this underwhelming clunker of suffocating dialogue and uninteresting design – my first thought was… where the hell can I find the Golden Exit out of here?
By Amanda Nova