by Rob DiCristino and Adam Riske
Adam: Welcome to Reserved Seating. I’m Adam Riske.
Rob: And I’m Rob DiCristino.
I really didn’t like this movie. It’s a slog, it’s smarmy, it features Gerwig (who I like at times) at her most insufferable level of indie nonsense (which I thought Mistress America would forever claim), but mostly it’s another screwball comedy starring Al Pacino who just isn’t the right actor for these types of movies. Pacino is an actor’s actor and always submerges himself into deep characterization, but that doesn’t right the ship in the case of The Humbling. Going back to Birdman, this movie could have worked better if a younger, weirder actor like Michael Keaton were playing Simon. Someone who seems like they’re fighting back or just as bad as the other characters. Instead it just seems like the other characters are taking advantage of a wealthy, aged man and everyone is so annoying that it saps the comedy out of every scene past the 30-minute mark. I watched this movie on IMDB TV with commercials and each break was what I looked forward to the most. I earned those commercials. This is my least favorite Pacino movie to date. It’s like if Curb Your Enthusiasm starred J. Howard Marshall.
What did you think of the movie, Rob?
Adam: The Humbling feels like a movie where the creative people involved (which also includes screenwriter Buck Henry) have much more of a need to make this movie than most people would have to watch it. It’s navel gazing and unenjoyable. It’s out of touch and really drove me crazy. There’s an argument scene with Pacino, Gerwig, Dianne Wiest, and Dan Hedaya where I thought “Ugh, this is the worst kind of screwball comedy” and just as I thought that, a cat gets its paw run over and Gerwig goes into twee overdrive. Do you have any more you want to add? Give me Hangman all day over this. Sorry this is more a tantrum than a review. I hope I made a few actual points before this movie defeated me as I was writing.
Adam: It probably is.
Rob: I’m not sure what else there is to say, and I’m not sure either of us will get any joy out of bitching about it.
Rob: This isn’t Fun Bad or Interesting Bad. It just makes my stomach hurt.
Adam: Yeah. I knew we would reach a dark day eventually with some of Pacino’s 2010 to 2019 output. He had a rough go of it that decade with a few exceptions like Danny Collins, The Irishman, and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. Hopefully among the “bad” there are a few more The Recruits or Two for the Moneys that are guilty pleasures. What are we talking about next week?
Rob: Our Bomb Squad series will return with a new installment. Until next time…
Adam: These seats are reserved.