Reviews

  • Oct 20, 2021

    I don't think this is something I would usually watch, the pacing and the general feel and aesthetic of the film (made me feel like a mix of some independent artsy film and Wes Anderson) however, I enjoyed it. The concept was interesting, the acting was nice and I liked the quirky characters. The ending though, ugh its one of those open to interpretation endings. I never know what to do about those, if you are telling the story, tell me the end, don't leave me to figure it out.

    I don't think this is something I would usually watch, the pacing and the general feel and aesthetic of the film (made me feel like a mix of some independent artsy film and Wes Anderson) however, I enjoyed it. The concept was interesting, the acting was nice and I liked the quirky characters. The ending though, ugh its one of those open to interpretation endings. I never know what to do about those, if you are telling the story, tell me the end, don't leave me to figure it out.

  • Jul 10, 2021

    Romcom meets reality

    Romcom meets reality

  • Apr 30, 2021

    Living our lives as we were meant to is sometimes challenging in unusual ways. So it is for a loquacious, neurotic gay man who's uncomfortable with what comes with the lifestyle, prompting him to believe that he may be latent heterosexual, a notion that launches him into a dating experiment with a woman who mirrors many of his quirky traits. The question thus becomes, will this relationship work? Such is the premise of writer-actor-director James Sweeney's modern-day throwback to the rapid-fire screwball comedies of the past. While it's a little hard to fathom that any real life individual could flawlessly deliver unrehearsed, content-rich, machine gun-paced lines with the ease that these protagonists do, their dialogue is nevertheless smartly peppered with witty, often-hilarious observations (as well as a few one-liners that don't stick their landings), making for generally good fun under highly unexpected situations. The pacing moves so quickly that viewers may be left a little exhausted by film's end, but, in light of the funny yet thoughtful message this release serves up about being oneself, that's easily overlooked. A generally inoffensive offering that will definitely tickle one's funny bone in big ways more than a few times.

    Living our lives as we were meant to is sometimes challenging in unusual ways. So it is for a loquacious, neurotic gay man who's uncomfortable with what comes with the lifestyle, prompting him to believe that he may be latent heterosexual, a notion that launches him into a dating experiment with a woman who mirrors many of his quirky traits. The question thus becomes, will this relationship work? Such is the premise of writer-actor-director James Sweeney's modern-day throwback to the rapid-fire screwball comedies of the past. While it's a little hard to fathom that any real life individual could flawlessly deliver unrehearsed, content-rich, machine gun-paced lines with the ease that these protagonists do, their dialogue is nevertheless smartly peppered with witty, often-hilarious observations (as well as a few one-liners that don't stick their landings), making for generally good fun under highly unexpected situations. The pacing moves so quickly that viewers may be left a little exhausted by film's end, but, in light of the funny yet thoughtful message this release serves up about being oneself, that's easily overlooked. A generally inoffensive offering that will definitely tickle one's funny bone in big ways more than a few times.

  • Apr 20, 2021

    I loved this way more than I expected to. The writing is sharp and the conversations feel realistic between the characters while also being witty. It shines an interesting light on sexuality and romance without going down the expected tropes.

    I loved this way more than I expected to. The writing is sharp and the conversations feel realistic between the characters while also being witty. It shines an interesting light on sexuality and romance without going down the expected tropes.

  • Apr 05, 2021

    I was extremely disappointed and unimpressed with the casual bigotry during the dinner scene. Although I was initially glad to see Asian American representation in this movie that avoided the usual stereotypes, racist jokes aren't funny just because they are told by another person of color or dressed up in what I think was supposed to be intellectual humor. And the way the bigotry was treated by other characters as a love able quirk didn't sit well with me at all. In general, the way this scene and others were written contain way too much elitism and condescension for me to be on board.

    I was extremely disappointed and unimpressed with the casual bigotry during the dinner scene. Although I was initially glad to see Asian American representation in this movie that avoided the usual stereotypes, racist jokes aren't funny just because they are told by another person of color or dressed up in what I think was supposed to be intellectual humor. And the way the bigotry was treated by other characters as a love able quirk didn't sit well with me at all. In general, the way this scene and others were written contain way too much elitism and condescension for me to be on board.

  • Nov 27, 2020

    A very Millenial movie with charming performances

    A very Millenial movie with charming performances

  • Nov 12, 2020

    Katie Findlay is wonderful in 'Straight Up', written, directed, and starring James Sweeney. The acting here is much better than the second and third act story which end up fizzling out. I had a smile on my face for about half of the flick and then the tone changes and the end result didn't work for me. Hope it does for you! Final Score: 5.2/10

    Katie Findlay is wonderful in 'Straight Up', written, directed, and starring James Sweeney. The acting here is much better than the second and third act story which end up fizzling out. I had a smile on my face for about half of the flick and then the tone changes and the end result didn't work for me. Hope it does for you! Final Score: 5.2/10

  • Oct 14, 2020

    Crisis in sexual identity. So this is about a pair of intellectual soul mates, Todd and Rory (James Sweeney, Katie Findlay). He may or may not be gay, but he's young and figuring it all out. Is their companionship enough to keep a relationship going? Now I knew next to nothing about this; I just caught a glimpse of it while scrolling, which is more often than not the impetus for me taking chances on movies nowadays. The trailer seemed both snappy and witty enough for something to be there. I do like the points that this movie had to make, but I feel like this movie could have used some more time in the oven before releasing the end product. To start this off on a positive, I think that the biggest strength of Straight Up is the performance of the two leads. Sweeney acts, writes, and directs, so it makes sense that he gives the character of Todd the most engaging commentary to make. I do think that Findlay keeps up with him, and she is the reason why these two have good friendship chemistry. These are characters that can be difficult people, but you always understand their motivations. The dialogue that they share is entertaining, but I do have to say that it frequently feels unnatural. Even only ten minutes in, this was reminding me of the breakneck speed of something like His Girl Friday, or if you were looking for a reference this century, The Gilmore Girls. I know that show has its following, but I never cared for it because the banter ping pongs so quickly that characters are seldom allowed to react naturally. Rory gets introduced as all of this was going through my mind, and you can probably guess that this is where the Gilmores get a shoutout by name, so it is 100% confirmed that it was an influence. When this movie is just Todd and Rory, I mostly like it. They're in denial and lying to themselves, but that makes for an interesting dynamic. However, I found almost every side character in this to be insufferable. The friends in this are truly awful people, and I could maybe get past it if they were toned down, but they do nothing but antagonize and cause conflict to the point that there should be way more fighting in this. Todd and Rory are not a passive couple; they are people who will call you out on your BS, so when the story reaches this egregious and socially aggressive game night, their reactions feel inauthentic. I like the core voice here, I believe that Sweeney just needs to hone his craft, and given his age, he has the time to do that.

    Crisis in sexual identity. So this is about a pair of intellectual soul mates, Todd and Rory (James Sweeney, Katie Findlay). He may or may not be gay, but he's young and figuring it all out. Is their companionship enough to keep a relationship going? Now I knew next to nothing about this; I just caught a glimpse of it while scrolling, which is more often than not the impetus for me taking chances on movies nowadays. The trailer seemed both snappy and witty enough for something to be there. I do like the points that this movie had to make, but I feel like this movie could have used some more time in the oven before releasing the end product. To start this off on a positive, I think that the biggest strength of Straight Up is the performance of the two leads. Sweeney acts, writes, and directs, so it makes sense that he gives the character of Todd the most engaging commentary to make. I do think that Findlay keeps up with him, and she is the reason why these two have good friendship chemistry. These are characters that can be difficult people, but you always understand their motivations. The dialogue that they share is entertaining, but I do have to say that it frequently feels unnatural. Even only ten minutes in, this was reminding me of the breakneck speed of something like His Girl Friday, or if you were looking for a reference this century, The Gilmore Girls. I know that show has its following, but I never cared for it because the banter ping pongs so quickly that characters are seldom allowed to react naturally. Rory gets introduced as all of this was going through my mind, and you can probably guess that this is where the Gilmores get a shoutout by name, so it is 100% confirmed that it was an influence. When this movie is just Todd and Rory, I mostly like it. They're in denial and lying to themselves, but that makes for an interesting dynamic. However, I found almost every side character in this to be insufferable. The friends in this are truly awful people, and I could maybe get past it if they were toned down, but they do nothing but antagonize and cause conflict to the point that there should be way more fighting in this. Todd and Rory are not a passive couple; they are people who will call you out on your BS, so when the story reaches this egregious and socially aggressive game night, their reactions feel inauthentic. I like the core voice here, I believe that Sweeney just needs to hone his craft, and given his age, he has the time to do that.

  • Sep 09, 2020

    Hey look, I'm 100% gay gay gay and I liked it. One of the audience reviewers lambasted it saying, 'boo it was a sad ending'. Hello? (slight spoiler alert). He ended up with a guy so NO, he had the happy ending he was looking for. ie: boyfriend and girl who's just a friend.

    Hey look, I'm 100% gay gay gay and I liked it. One of the audience reviewers lambasted it saying, 'boo it was a sad ending'. Hello? (slight spoiler alert). He ended up with a guy so NO, he had the happy ending he was looking for. ie: boyfriend and girl who's just a friend.

  • Aug 02, 2020

    Definitely different, but a quite enjoyable movie with almost nonstop dialogue between the main characters.

    Definitely different, but a quite enjoyable movie with almost nonstop dialogue between the main characters.