“Person to Person” Review

(AOTN) Summer is a huge time for the film industry, mainly for big studios. Every studio wants the next blockbuster hit and biggest film of the summer. These days our summers are filled with superheroes, reboots and some over-the-top action flicks. Somewhere in between all of those very expensive special effects films are more of the “passion projects” and the lower-budget films that take some more risks when it comes to creativity. “Person to Person” is one of those kinds of films.

“Person to Person” is a film written and directed by Dustin Defa, about several individuals who are all at different points in their lives and find themselves in unusual situations. The film stars Michael Cera, Abbi JacksonMichaela Watkins, and newcomer Bene Coopersmith.

Going back on the risk taking comment, what I mean by that is that usually it’s the smaller companies that tend to go more for the fresh ideas. Though “Person to Person” has a common subject of telling multiple stories of people dealing with different life changing situations, the stories that it tells are pretty unusual and lead the film in humorous directions.

For instance (without giving too much of the film away) Michael Cera plays Phil, a supervisor and reporter that mentors Abbi Jacobson’s character, Claire.While trying to show her the ropes, he’s also trying to impress her and this makes for hilariously awkward situations between the two. Phil keeps letting Claire know that he’s in a metal band and if picturing Michael Cera in a metal band is not enough to make you laugh, then I’m not sure what more you need.

When watching the film something about it felt familiar. It was something about the way it was shot. I wasn’t sure if it was the camera angles or the camera itself. I kept thinking to myself, “this looks very similar to Kevin Smith’s “Clerks”‘. Upon doing a bit more research my eyes did not deceive me, in fact both films were shot in 16mm. So there’s not much movement when it comes to the camera but it felt like a perfect fit for this type of film.

The film’s dark humor makes it feel as a drama at times as does one of the stories surrounding Tavi Gevinson‘s character Wendy. So don’t expect it to be a total comedy and I don’t think that’s what Defa was aiming for anyway but quite a few of the characters and their situations provide the comedy aspect. In honesty, I felt like the film could have been funnier given that it had the cast to do so but it was not at all bad.

“Person to Person” opens in theaters July 28.

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