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Friday, February 7, 2014

Saturday Movies: C.O.G. (2013)

I went into this movie not knowing what it was about nor aware it's based on the short story by David Sedaris. The movie just caught my attention because the cover looked artsy. To be honest there are parts that are good, and parts that are painful. I wasn't thrilled with how women were depicted in the movie, but I appreciated the growth of the character to say the least. Kyle Patrick Alvarez directs this movie, and makes it look just as artsy as the movie poster, but with no really likable characters.

Summary: David never shares what has driven him apart from his mother, but he is so distant from her now he would rather travel to a rural area, and work on an apple farm for below the min wage. He figures he would rather work in a job at least somehow related to his major than go work somewhere else with his Master's degree. David doesn't really fit in with the locals though. The people at the apple factory make fun of his bragging, and the deeply spiritual community doesn't really mesh with his Atheism. While it appears that David wants anything but to fit in though he really does.


Acting: Jonathon Groff plays the lead character David. I think Groff plays the role very well. The guy is assumed gay since the short story this is based on is loosely based from the author's life who is gay. Groff the lead actor is also gay in real life. In the movie we never know what has caused the riff between him and his mom, and we never know what sexual preference he has, but there are some obvious puzzle pieces though. Groff plays the role very well though. He never is showcasing too much about the character to give away what has caused such an uproot for the young man. Denis O'Hare also stars as the strange, Jon. He's a Christian guy, or C.O.G. (Child of God). O'Hare is good. As well as the rest of the cast. There isn't really any bad acting here, but the script is a bit just negative all around.

Filming: The atmosphere of the film is even well captured as well. It's very photographic. There is a musical score though to the movie that sounds like it is attempting to break off your ear drums in the process of also trying to capture the emotion. I like the whole vibe of how the movie is shot, but the music was just a punch to the ears.

Plot: It seems where the movie took a deep dive for many people was with the plot. I find it odd that the poster says that the movie will be loved by Sedaris fans yet I have yet to read a review from one who enjoyed it. The major problem I had with the plot line is that it goes nowhere. If you don't like spoilers then don't continue. David doesn't really grow in any positive way in this movie. He just learns that maybe he is best off alone, which in my opinion just seems sad. He doesn't seem to figure he could reconnect with his mother more, or make a connection with at least one person. He even tries out being a Christian to see if that makes him fit in somewhere, and that doesn't work. The whole movie is just a drag, and the comedic aspect I didn't see there. There also seemed to be a huge amount of sexism in this movie. Women are referred to in the most insulting of ways with the vulgar words.

C.O.G. can be appreciated for it's acting and the good cinematography. The story though doesn't leave you feeling that great, nor that you learned anything. You feel as empty as the lead character does. Plus the way characters are portrayed just seems in a desperate attempt to justify why David is such a jerk instead of him making growths to not be like that.

Rating 5 of 10.


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