Daddy Longlegs - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Daddy Longlegs Reviews

Page 1 of 2
½ May 14, 2014
Sad tale of a father who loves his kids, gets custody for only two weeks a year, and fails miserably at being a father during those two weeks. He doesn't do anything to intentionally harm them or put them in danger but almost every choice he makes does so just because he is incapable of considering consequences or of putting their needs ahead of his own desires and impulses. The film proceeds along a low tech near-mumblecore path which suits the subject well.
½ March 8, 2014
Really quite good, absolutely nails the NYC divorced dad who doesn't have his shit together and all that. And there's a lot of great moments. But there's continuity stuff that's annoying, and the resolution doesn't feel important enough. Too lukewarm, which I know is 'the point' and a trope of movies like this, but still, it's an unsatisfying end. Definitely worth watching though. It's so accurate it's ridiculous.
Super Reviewer
½ January 2, 2013
In "Daddy Longlegs," Lenny(Ronald Bronstein), a film projectionist in New York City, is given custody of his two sons(Sage & Frey Ranaldo) for two weeks. So, he takes them to play racquetball and his unstable girlfriend Leni(Eleonore Hendricks) brings them a lizard. In return, he cheats on her with Roberta(Dakota Goldhor) who he met in a bar and then follows her and her boyfriend(Aren Topdijian) upstate, bringing the boys along for a little waterskiing.

Overall, "Daddy Longlegs" is as aimless as its anti-hero, never being able to make up its mind about whether he is reckless or just irresponsible, nor what kind of movie it really wants to be without really the kind of energy to even be cringe inducing. What is true about him is what I am fond of saying in general in that some people should never have kids, especially Lenny who has trouble taking care of himself, much less two of them. As harsh as it may sound, one imagines him making the boys' future mother(Leah Singer) laugh before she wisely came to her senses.
September 28, 2012
If watching a terrible parent making terrible decisions sounds good, well, you'll enjoy this movie.
April 22, 2012
New title "Go Get Some Rosemary" for this film. I preferred to review this one I saw last year on the old titles page because this title is much better, I think. This is such a personal film that you really feel like you're apart of these peoples lives. The wrting here is quite brilliant as well. I hope I can find the dvd or blue-ray for this at some point. Anyways, don't miss this gem if you can get your hands on it anyways..
½ February 28, 2012
I really don't care about this idiot and his stupid point of view
December 18, 2011
Lenny takes fatherhood to new lows.
½ December 17, 2011
The film's grungy, ultra-low-budget look, thanks to the Safdie's handheld camera, is just right for catching the crummy, hardscrabble, rat-infested milieu.
½ September 3, 2011
This reminded me of The Room only I laughed less. If you don't find this movie completely boring, you're probably extremely boring yourself.
February 5, 2011
Interesting, offbeat tale told in cinema verite style, chronicling Dad with dubious parenting skills

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Created by newcomer brothers Ben and Joshua Safdie, 'Daddy Longlegs' was shot on 16 millimeter and has the appearance of a film created in the late 70s (it seems like this is when the film is supposed to take place). It's up for the John Cassavettes Award as part of the independent cinema Spirit Awards in 2011 and reminds one of a Cassavettes film, shot in a cinema verite style, with partially a jazz score underneath. I recently heard the Safdies speak about the film in person and they indicated that it's loosely based on experiences with their father who divorced their mother years ago.

Daddy Longlegs is about a ne'er-do-well by the name of Lenny played by first-time actor Ronald Bronstein. Lenny is divorced from his wife and gets to spend two weeks out of the year with his 7 and 9 year old children, Sage and Frey (played by Sage and Frey Ranaldo in real life). Bronstein remained in character even when not on the set-for example when he visited Sage and Frey at their real school!

Daddy Longlegs is the portrait of a parent who obviously loves his children, but through his irresponsible behavior, ultimately places their lives in jeopardy. When we first meet Lenny, he defensively argues with the school principal who has taken the children out of school for picking fights with other kids. Lenny does crazy things like walking on his hands across the street with the children. After having an argument with his girlfriend, he picks up another woman and goes to bed with her. He then convinces this woman, a virtual stranger, to drive upstate with her boyfriend and brings the kids along on a mini-vacation.

We then experience more examples of bizarre parenting from Lenny. He places a lizard inside a cereal box as a prize for the boys; an acquaintance comes over and ends up sleeping with Lenny in his bed (it's not clear whether they have sex); and he's mugged by a man on the street at gunpoint but fails to mention the incident to the children. Lenny also takes unnecessary risks when he's with adults: he hangs out with his bizarre girlfriend who insists on meeting him at the next train stop by walking through a subway tunnel; he also hangs out with undesirable companions and they all get arrested one night for making graffiti.

The crisis of the film's second act occurs after Lenny is unable to find a babysitter for the children but must show up at his job as a projectionist. He ends up giving the kids what he thinks is a small dosage of sedatives but they fail to wake up in the morning. A doctor friend comes over and informs Lenny that the children are okay but in a coma which they might not wake up from for a couple of days or even a week. You've really got to your suspend your disbelief that a doctor wouldn't have called the police in this situation. As it turns out, all's well that ends well when the children wake up after being out cold for about two days.

The film's denouement occurs when Lenny decides to abduct the children and move to a new apartment. The Safdies indicate that this actually happened to them at the hands of their father but ultimately he wasn't arrested in real life. In most child abduction cases, the offending parent is much more cunning than the impulsive Lenny. What happens is the children are usually taken out of state. Here, Lenny remains in New York City, where presumably he will be ultimately caught and arrested for child abduction.

There's are some very nice things about 'Daddy Longlegs', particularly Bronstein's performance as the irresponsible parent. The Safdies also utilize quite a number of non-professional actors to very good effect in this film. On the down side, the film's cinema verite style is dated and I hope that the Safdies will be able to prove they're capable of shooting in different genres and styles in the future. Finally, the other characters in the film are virtual ciphers; they have no back story and are only there to highlight Lenny's impulsivity and idiosyncrasies.

Perhaps the most admirable aspect of Daddy Longlegs is the creators' forgiving nature. Despite not being treated very well by their father as children, they have managed to forgive him as adults and in the fictional arena, have created a complex portrait of a fictional father who is both loving and cruel at the same time.
Super Reviewer
January 28, 2011

This is a deeply unsettling film about a manic, terrible father who thinks it's more important to be your child's friend instead of a parent. Constantly in motion, always late, never thinking clearly, making awful choices, Ronald Bronstein gives a fantastic performance in a part that would be unforgivable is less-able hands. Think Modern Family's Phil (Ty Burrell) if he were divorced from Claire, moved to a New York studio apartment, and had custody of the kids for only 2 weeks a year. Even for that short period of time, he still can't get it together.

One sequence in particular, when he devises a terrible solution to leaving the kids home alone, goes so wrong, I was filled with a horrible feeling of dread. This is a Dad with the worst decision-making process EVER! Worse than DeNiro in THIS BOY'S LIFE. Worse than Darth Vader! Worse than the Godfather!

Shot verite-style, the movie hurtles you along with Bronstein's ADD character as he juggles a girlfriend, a movie projectionist job, a justifiably enraged ex-wife, a trick, and weary neighbors, all while trying to take care of his two boys. Although he has a light spirit, which proves sweet and funny at times, he just seems like a guy who should NEVER be allowed unsupervised around his kids. Obviously that's the point here, so I don't mean to get all pedantic about it. Some people are just this desperate and crazy, and this movie tells us this in all it's crazy, loopy, fly-on-the-wall glory.
January 28, 2011
I don't care if he's nominated for a Spirit Award. What an annoying main character! Excruciating, watching this selfish, immature asshole irresponsibly babysit his two sons. If not for that, I might be more forgiving of the awful production values (it was low budget).
½ November 3, 2010
The movie makes its point at by the 45 minute mark, at which point we're just watching variations on a theme.
October 11, 2010
really enjoyed this film about a loving but super irresponsible father!!! good indi flick!!!
½ July 10, 2010
Sad tale of a father who loves his kids, gets custody for only two weeks a year, and fails miserably at being a father during those two weeks. He doesn't do anything to intentionally harm them or put them in danger but almost every choice he makes does so just because he is incapable of considering consequences or of putting their needs ahead of his own desires and impulses.

The film proceeds along a low tech near-mumblecore path which suits the subject well.
July 4, 2010
I think if I wrote this when I first saw it, I would have bashed it. After waiting a few hours, I begin to understand the film. It really just shows how Lenni, faces the problem parent's today face. Do I be friends with my kids, or bosses? Do I act like a kid with them or an adult? We saw both, and how both ways did not work out. The movie was very well acted but left me with a lot of unanswered questions. I also do not like movies who have very random and just "waist-of-time" scenes. Their were quite a few. I don't want to spoil it for you, but for the people who have seen it....the ending? I just don't know. Are we, the audience, just supposed to make up in our heads what happened? I was very confused. Are we supposed to just see a pinpoint of a few days with a horrible parent with no beggining or plot? Was that the point of the final scene? This movie is not about closure or a father getting what he has coming? No scene where Lenni looks at his mistakes and apologizes. No. We see a human being for who he is...and that's it. It for the audience to judge if he is a good or bad father? THIS FILM is not an easy will leave you really thinking. I'm still thinking...I still can't decide if I LOVE IT or HATE IT. It's one of "those" movies. LOVE or HATE. Watch it and decide....
July 3, 2010
A quiet and unflinching portrait of father trying to care of two kids while struggling to maintain a life of his own. This is a great character study. At times you feel for the lovable train wreck that is Lenny other times you are shocked by the outrages decisions he makes when parenting the two movies. It's uneasy but a very realistic portrayal.
Bill D 2007
Super Reviewer
½ June 15, 2010
"Daddy Longlegs" (aka "Go Get Some Rosemary") is a hand-made, ultra-New York film reminiscent of Azazel Jacobs's "Momma's Man" (2008). Both films are extremely authentic, capturing astonishingly well the feeling of living in Manhattan. But both films suffer from an aimless and flaccid quality. There's just not enough drama or insight to keep "Daddy Longlegs" interesting. Watching ordinary people struggle with ordinary things is simply not exciting after about 30 minutes.

Ronald Bronstein does give an unforgettable performance as the Dad who is overflowing with love but can't quite become a grown-up. From what I've read, Joshua and Ben Safdie made the film as a tribute to their real-life father, who had custody of them for just two weeks a year. I could see why the Safdie boys would find those two weeks with their crazy Dad so memorable.

The film starts beautifully, with actual footage of them dancing in the living room with Dad during one of these visits. But you immediately get the sense of how Dad was a bit unhinged. Why did he have to be nearly naked while dancing with his young sons? The dancing is adorable. And the boys are obviously enraptured by their Dad. But why do it in only a pair of thin boxers?

As we later learn, Dad also had boyfriends and girlfriends sleeping over during their two-week stays. Why couldn't he put his dalliances on hold just for the two weeks when the boys were visiting? I'm sure Josh and Ben Safdie have been asking themselves such questions for years.

There is a harrowing scene involving sleeping pills, the details of which I won't give away. But for the most part we watch Dad struggle to do things like get a babysitter so he can do a late-shift at work or go out on a date. As remarkable as Bronstein is as an actor, the tedium does start to wear thin.
May 25, 2010
Sad & realistic, with extremely good acting and a complex and interesting main character.
Page 1 of 2