As Cool As I Am (2013)
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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.
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.
There's nothing particularly interesting about this teen drama. With so many plot holes and inconsistent sequences, I'm not sure this movie is one of Danes best.
A coming of age story about small town, American teenager Lucy (Sarah Bolger - In America) whose parents' unconventional marriage and fraying relationship takes its toll on the girl. Her mother Lainee (Claire Danes - 'Homefront') carries on a few relationships of her own teaching her daughter to be all kinds of responsible (!) as her husband Chuck (James Marsden - X-Men) works in Canada most of the year doesn't know how to talk to his family even when he is home. Lucy has a reliable best friend in Kenny (Thomas Mann - It's Kind of a Funny Story) but when they start testing the acceptable boundaries of friendship her one constant in her life begins shifting and her whole life falls out of focus. The film has a lot of drama going on ... and it never stops. It is as if the filmmakers of As Cool As I Am believed the more drama in play the cooler its central character would be (I mean ... poor, poor Lucy!!). There is too much story here -- so much so we get random bits of narration from Lucy at times -- and more just keeps getting piled on. Like this review, As Cool As I Am rambles and keeps going and going. There are better movies out there.
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