How I Got Lost - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

How I Got Lost Reviews

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½ February 17, 2014
Monday, February 17, 2014

(2009) How I Got Lost

Written and directed by Joe Leonard directing the movie "How I Got Lost", which I have to say I got lost just by watching this, since the film can't really decide which person the film is really about. At the beginning, the movie focuses on Andrew (Aaron Stanford), as we see him get out of jail for doing something- I suspect for disorderly conduct. And it just happens that his best friend Jake(Jacob Fishel) paid for his bail. They're both a couple of New Yorkers, and are somehow been affected by the events of 9/11, since Andrew who's involved in stock trading but he often drinks a lot, while Jake whose a sports writer is trying to have a serious relationship with a girl he had met after the attacks, her name is Katie played by Jill Frutkin. Once Andrew get a call informing him that his dad had just died, he then drags his best friend Jake to come along with him instead of telling him the reason why they're going on a road trip, to a small town in Ohio. Once Andrew gets their for his dad's memorial service, he then throws a fit complaining about how they should've called him to inform him that his dad is dying, even though he initially said that he doesn't get along with his dad in the first place. Like does this make any sense, like if someone really cared, wouldn't the son himself call up his dad himself. Why make this burden as someone else's responsibility.

Jake on the other hand, meets up with a single mom Leslie (Rosemarie DeWitt) who works at the town's diner, raising her own child who looks no more than a few months old, all by herself with no sight of the father whatsoever. Leslie eventually hooks up with Jake for a one-nighter even though he's committed to Katie back at New York and still gets angry after he finds out that she cheated on him with his best friend. God...this whole movie is baffling. It's like watching the worst drama variation of a Matt Damon and Ben Affleck relationship unfolding before your very eyes, since the movie has 'zero' clarification on the characters actions. Although, theirs many scenes of subtleness, it can only carry the movie for so much.

1 star out of 4
January 24, 2012
A look into the aftermath of everyday people of 9/11 but occasionally loses focus.
May 28, 2011
Either I wasn't in the mood for this kind of movie, or it was boring. Didn't finish.
May 20, 2011
This is the kind of movie I root for. It's an indie flick with an earnest feel, but in the end fumbles around and really doesn't know what it wants to be. Among who knows what else, it's a best friends road trip film. I tried but could never mentally separate the two characters or clearly understand their motivation or direction. I had to conclude that the character development left something to be desired. Indie films often feel this way, but in the end, the best ones somehow solidify and seem to have a point (a story, or some kind of meaning). While I enjoyed some of the individual scenes, in the end this film collapses because it doesn't have much coherence. Three stars are the best I can offer.
Super Reviewer
½ November 10, 2010
This movie was bad from beginning to end.I know I checked it out at the library because it was free but I really cant understand how I sat there & watched it all
November 3, 2010
A low key, but not uninteresting ride over well-traveled terrain.
September 16, 2010
I haven't seen this movie, but its evident that the tomatometer is being skewed by the cast and crew. All the good reviews are from members who just recently got rottentomatoes accounts and it is their only review or even rating.
August 2, 2010
It's New York post 911. Andrew (Aaron Stanford) and Jake (Jacob Fishel) are two best friends who are trying to figure out their lives. It didn't quite go as planned. What are they doing here? The timeline is 2001 to August 03 when New York had the massive blackout. This is a little film that trys to show when we all questions after the horrible tragedy of September 11. Strong performances from Stanford and Fishel (who I've not seen before). Also a strong turn for Rosemarie DeWitt (who played Rachel in Rachel Getting Married). One could see this movie going by the way of two whiny twenty somethings who bitch and moan about their lives but it doesn't go their in my opinion. We see these two men go through definitive changes in those two years. Check it out.
½ June 25, 2010
Stereotypical, but worth watching.
½ June 11, 2010
It's difficult rating independent films. How much leniency is one expected to grant a movie based on its lack of funds? Unlike larger productions, I tend to look at these sorts of independent films and see it as the product of people who love movies making their dreams into a reality. A blockbuster is easy to write off as mindless trash, but something where you can tell how little resources there were... now that, that's something else.

That said, How I Got Lost is not a very good movie. A post-9/11 version of Garden State (though how the 9/11 reference fits in exactly is beyond me), the movie tells the story of a man who forces his friend to accompany him on a states-wide journey to attend his father's funeral. I guess he's real distraught about his father's death, or maybe it's 9/11 that he's distraught about and is using his father's death as a metaphor for the feeling that New Yorkers felt in the aftermath of the attacks, or... I don't know.

It's hard not to hear the script being written with every line that is spoken. The movie opens with a painful narration sequence that is supposed to sound artistic and thoughtful, but instead comes off as merely pretentious. We meet our two main characters, described as "the talented kids" who grew up and become disillusioned with their upper-middle class life. There's a Ben Affleck lookalike and a Sam Rockwell lookalike, the latter of which smokes cigarettes nearly constantly. I think it was intended to be, again, artistic - what's more beautiful than people speaking thoughtfully while smoking cigarettes? - but it's ridiculous in the mouth of a man who looks like a kid, a man who wears business attire that looks like it belonged to his father. The basketball scene is the most amazing use of a cigarette, as Rockwell dribbles down the court while puffing at the cigarette that he refuses to remove from his lips. It's almost cartoon-ish.

The movie becomes a road trip/buddy comedy where the two guys get into scrapes with demented characters along the way. These are all very ho-hum; they are forgotten easily. The reason I sought out How I Got Lost in the first place was in order to see my friend Lily Holleman's brief appearance in the film. She shows up as a backwoods gas station attendant who helps the boys when their car runs out of gas. They marvel at the fact that she knows how to start a truck (a girl who knows about vehicles?? CRAZY!!), and that's pretty much the entirety of her scene. Actually, I take that back. Before she exits the movie, she gets a chance to massage the ego of the boys (and by extension, writer/director Joe Leonard) by pretending that something they said was clever or insightful. Now that is good acting!

They get to the funeral and, surprise surprise, Rockwell acts like a petulant child - he literally throws a tantrum in front of all of the funeral guests. I suppose we're supposed to see it as an emotional breakdown. It really just comes off as a selfish, whiny child making a scene. I hate to say it at the man's funeral, but is that how he raised his children to behave? Et cetera and so on. I don't know whether I was falling asleep near the end or if it bored me so much that I've blocked it out, but the short version is this: nothing extraordinary or interesting happens, the movie ends.

I know that it's possible to make engaging, fantastic movies on a limited budget. I'm thinking of Shotgun Stories since I watched it recently, but Clerks obviously springs to mind too. I don't think that one has to grade on a curve when it comes to independent fare. If a movie is good, it ought to be able to rise above its shortcomings. But this movie, I mean, there's a scene where a car is driving over a bridge and the actors' voices (recorded at a different time) are played over the action - it goes on way too long, the lines become blatantly improvised with an attempt at being humorous. It doesn't work; it's really bad.

There are moments where the film hits its mark, mostly in quieter scenes wherein the cinematography can be the real focus instead of the ditzy characters. Those moments are rare. So How I Got Lost is, well, it could use some improvement - let's put it like that.
May 31, 2010
I was expecting a lot more from this film based on its reviews while at film festivals. I was mostly not let down here, but I think that it could have been a classic. What minor flaws it does have is originality. I have seen this film a few times over and maybe this is one of the better versions of its kind, but nothing really worth taking oscar notes over. Overall I really did enjoy this film for what it was and the actors do a fine job here and the script is well written with some pretty great speeches and realism. The story here is heartbreaking somewhat and also feels like something taken out of real life. This is one that is worth checking out at least once.
Super Reviewer
May 26, 2010
A pretty lackluster independent film that seemed somewhat undercooked. The story meandered and couldn't seem to make up its mind whether it was a buddy movie, a romantic drama, or a road trip film. Andrew (Aaron Stanford) and Jake (Jacob Fishel) come across as two slackers, shaken by the events of 9/11, who set off on a trip to Andrew's hometown. Jake's break-up with Sarah (Nicole Vicius), meant to add poignancy, only served to keep the film unfocused. There are a few scattered interesting scenes, and the scenery as they cross Pennsylvania is pleasant, but it just seemed like the filmmakers missed an opportunity to give us a reason to care about what happened to these guys. If anyone got lost here, it had to be the director. He obviously didn't know where he was trying to go, nor did he know how to get us there.
February 21, 2010
Gripping themes that touch the lives of us all. Sensitive, true-to-life portrayal of lives in transition.
½ February 21, 2010
I really enjoyed this film. If your into the indie low budget scene give it a try. Nice story telling. And the relationship between the two friends is spot on. Joe Leonard the director and writer I think is somebody to watch for in the future.
February 20, 2010
This is a really special movie. The story is tight and beautiful. This group of young actors will grab you and insist that you care about these characters. The technical aspects of this movie are spot on. Loved the Red One camera, the settings are beautiful and the costuming does not detract from the story. How I Got Lost is proof that independent film making must be encouraged and financed.
February 19, 2010
Try to see this film! The cast and crew are exceptionally talented, and it's very well done. Great story, great cinematography, great settings.
February 19, 2010
Beautifully shot and directed, this is a movie that resonates with anyone who has struggled to find their voice.
February 19, 2010
best movie of the year!
February 18, 2010
Loved it! Like a dream or a poem, it's one of those movies you get lost in. The mood... the music... the characters. If you are a friend or have ever had a friend, check out this flick.
½ December 22, 2009
essentially a coming of age story for 30-year olds. Story structure is loose at best....every line of dialogue makes you cringe...
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