Wednesday, September 2, 2015

[Review] Digging for Fire

I've expressed my indifference toward Joe Swanberg's films before. Despite having solid casts of indie regulars, and being observant character-driven takes on interpersonal relationships, the slice-of-life mumblecore aspect has made them fall on the mundane and underwhelming side. His newest boasts his most expansive cast: Jake Johnson, Rosemarie DeWitt, Jenny Slate, Mike Birbiglia, Sam Rockwell, Anna Kendrick, Brie Larson, Melanie Lynskey, and Orlando Bloom (!). Digging for Fire is a bit more entertaining than Drinking Buddies and Happy Christmas, but it's still stuck in similar territories.

Tim (Johnson) and Lee (DeWitt) are a married couple with toddler living in a modern home in the Hollywood Hills. One day Tim finds a rusty revolver and a bone out in the dirt, and he's convinced there's a dead body on the property. Lee shrugs it off and wants him to drop it, but Tim is hellbent on digging up the yard. When Lee goes on a trip, it isn't long before Tim busts out the weed and invites a load of friends over for a party, and they all decide it's a good idea to dig up the yard.

It becomes clear that Lee is future-gazing, while Tim isn't ready to take on the responsibilities of a mature adult and father. The film explores their different pages and the rift in their relationship, and there are a few thoughtful convos about marriage, parenthood, getting old, and money & happiness. This isn't really uncovering any new ground, though. The main gripe is that the characters aren't very likable. I don't think Swanberg is completely focused on making the characters likable, but considering that the film itself isn't that compelling, Digging for Fire just isn't very appealing to watch.


No comments:

Post a Comment