How to Be: letting my own circumstances color the film

This one is probably my least favorite on the list. Which is strange considering there are worse movies. But this one struck me in a way that was not quite pleasant. It was also the very last one I viewed. It’s not available to stream for free, so I waited in hopes that it would be. I did the free-trial thing and then cancelled the subscription just so I could finish out my list haha 

The quick and dirty: RP plays Art, a man going through a quarter life crisis. Seen through his perception of his life, he’s somewhat self-indulgent and lost (more on that later). Unhappy, he seeks help from the doctor who wrote the self-help book he’s reading, flying him to England from Canada. He makes lots of changes in his world, following the advice of the shrink, and sort of finds a good place. 

RP won Best Actor at the Strasbourg Film Festival for this one, and he probably deserved it. It’s… not what I was expecting from him. I wanted to like Art. I wanted to like his story. I only kind of did which probably is a reflection on me and my current situation rather than the story itself. 

Art is experiencing a quarter-life crisis. He doesn’t like the way his life has come together. He’s got a degree in something, but he’s working in retail and volunteering. He wants to be a singer/songwriter, but he’s not doing much with that. I think this whole movie was more difficult for me because my dreams were big (like Art) but certain aspects of life shifted my desires over time. I started the whole movie marathon thing because I’m currently trapped inside my head. Art has everything he needs at his disposal to chase his dreams and he’s not doing so. Now, if I look at it from a kinder view, this is what we all go through and it holds an important message. 

When Art starts reading a self-help book by a Canadian shrink, he realizes that using his inheritance to fly the shrink to England to get one on one help is a good idea. He has moved back in with his parents after the girlfriend he’s living with breaks up with him due to his depression and angst. He makes all the arrangements to fly the shrink out, and have him stay in the house, without ever talking to his parents. They’re distant and self-absorbed also. It’s all very… not how I was raised so I had some trouble relating. 

The message is clear and I did like that part. By the end of the movie, Art has decided to follow his dreams and it appears he’s making it work. It’s small scale and realistic, which I liked. In fact, I think the one thing I did really like about this particular movie was the realism. We all hit bumps in the road and discover we’re not happy with the choices we make. Art, while going about it in an over-the-top way, did decide to make changes and he got the help he thought he needed to do so. Hell, and he had the inheritance so why not, right? 

So, overall, this is probably my least favorite, but it has a great message. If you’re unhappy, change your circumstances. You don’t have to be miserable. You have the power to be what you want to be. I’ll probably give this one another shot when I’m not mired in my own crap from all this medical stuff. I think it’s likely I’d enjoy the story if I didn’t feel like he was whining about things that didn’t matter in the long run. Totally a reflection of my own circumstances.

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