movie film review | chris tookey

Igby Goes Down

© United Artists. Photo by Myles Aronowitz . - all rights reserved
  Igby Goes Down Review
Tookey's Rating
5 /10
Average Rating
7.33 /10
Jason 'Igby' Slocumb Jr.: Kieran Culkin , Mimi Slocumb: Susan Sarandon , Oliver Slocumb: Ryan Phillippe
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Directed by: Burr Steers
Written by: Burr Steers

Released: 2002
Genre: DRAMA
Origin: US
Colour: C
Length: 0

16 year-old Igby Slocumb (Kieran Culkin) has sex appeal and a wealthy godfather (Jeff Golblum) who’s willing to fund him when he bunks off school and roams New York City. Here, he has many adventures.
Reviewed by Chris Tookey

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Since these involve sex with Claire Daines and Amanda Peet, this might count as adolescent fantasy. But another plot involves Igby in the assisted suicide of his cancer-stricken mother (Susan Sarandon). This is the writing and directing debut from actor Burr Steers, who’s well-connected as the nephew of Gore Vidal and Jacqueline Onassis. This has the same laid-back deadpan wannabe-quirky quality of Rushmore and The Royal Tenenbaums, and many of the same weaknesses.

There’s no plot to speak of; the debt to The Graduate, Catcher in the Rye, Woody Allen and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off is obvious; and there’s an awkward shift of gear when Steers suddenly wants us to care about people whom previously he has been holding up for our scorn.

Claire Daines is always a pleasure to watch, but Culkin struggles, especially in scenes where he is supposed to have sex appeal or be foul-mouthed. I just didn’t like the sarcastic little bratty know-it-all, nor see much pathos in him. There’s a thin line between clever and clever-clever, and Steers tramples all over it.

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