As Cool As I Am (2013)
AS COOL AS I AM is a coming of age story about a smart, young girl caught in small town America. Dreaming of a bigger life, Lucy (Sarah Bolger) is subjected to her parents' Lainee (Claire Danes) and Chuck (James Marsden) disintegrating marriage. Finding it tough to navigate her own relationships, Lucy not only confides in, but relies on best-friend, Kenny (Thomas Mann), for emotional and physical support. Ultimately, she finds hope and her dreams are within reach. (c) IFC
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Critic Reviews for As Cool As I Am
This coming-of-age drama might trade in familiar narrative developments, but its characterization is rather nuanced.
Simplistic plotting, pedestrian visuals and poorly-handled melodrama do lend the project a cheap, made-for-TV feel, which is underscored by the fact that Danes and Marsden don't seem obliged to turn in their best work.
Oh no: Claire Danes as the mom? Already? What's next, Chelsea Clinton for president?
It is as if chunks of the film had landed on the editing-room floor in a desperate, last-minute attempt to trim its length. Just when its parts should come together, "As Cool as I Am" crumbles to bits.
Mayer doesn't find a way to make the ritual traumas of adolescence feel new again.
The familiarity of the narrative - the movie does, after all, include such coming-of-age touchstones as first love and irresponsible parents - grows more and more problematic as time progresses...
Audience Reviews for As Cool As I Am
It seems that this is one of those films critics love to hate! I haven't read so many negative reviews from the audience, but the critics are almost anonymous in finding anything negative possible... not that I cared about it... This coming of age comedy-drama based on the novel of the same name by Pete Fromm (described as "spirited and sharply intelligent") is directed by Max Mayer. Claire Danes is playing young mom, Sarah Bolger is the responsible daughter and James Marsden is the father of the Diamond family. Young Sarah's performance was outstanding, together with Thomas Mann who was her friend Kenny in the movie. Why were they overlooked in the critics reviews is something I cannot answer.
The story of Lucy (Bolger) was simply unique mosaic of familiar narrative elements... she is a self-confessed tomboy that is considered one of the guys with her masculine haircut and attitude, gets on well with her father (Marsden) but is frequently separated from him for months when he works in Canada as lumberjack. Her relationship with her mother (Danes) is easy-going provided she keeps the house tidy, and that allows her to develop excellent cooking skills. As Lucy turns 16, she tunes into her sexuality and her family dynamics developing a type of friends-with-benefits relationship with her best friend Kenny...
If you love movies in which the main character is dreaming of a bigger life while dealing with her parents' disintegrating marriage trying to juggle inexperience as her only skill in her own relationships - this is a movie which will make you happy after some frustration.
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