The Big Ask (2014)
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Critic Reviews for The Big Ask
It features a central protagonist who's simply not likable, supporting characters who serve as little more than plot devices for its lead, and a flat tone that somehow seems to soften even its most likable stars.
"The Big Ask" is a premise in search of a movie, one that co-directors Thomas Beatty and Rebecca Fishman never quite find.
The problem is we've seen this all before and then some; to call this trite would be an understatement.
Audience Reviews for The Big Ask
There is this blurb on one of the critics reviews for this movie on here that says that this is a premise and I would definitely have to agree with that. There's a good concept here with Andrew, inviting his closest friends, to the desert in order to help him heal and move on from his mother's death, seemingly taking advantage of that and asking to have sex with all of the women on the trip, three of them, at the same time. The film deals with how everyone around Andrew reacts to this proposition. But, to be fair, it just isn't that interesting nor does it really ever develop into anything that has any insight. Not to mention the fact that Andrew never comes off as likable, he just comes across as someone who's using a terrible situation in order to manipulate his friends, or rather their girlfriends, into doing something they normally wouldn't do. And, again, much like I mentioned in my previous review for Darkness on the Edge of Town, a character doesn't have to be empathetic or likable in order to tell a compelling story. But this one doesn't have a likable character nor does it have a compelling story. The cast is talented, but no one is really given much to do, they're all plot devices to help movie Andrew's quest for 'love' forward. There are hints and pieces of a good movie here, like Andrew's and Hannah's worsening relationship due to Andrew's inability to accept any kind of external help, which therefore leads Hannah to seek comfort in Owen, who clearly has the hots for her. So there's something here, but they just give you bits and pieces at a time. It never comes together into a satisfying whole. Part of the problem is that this is just aimless, like you're never clear where things are going and what the endgame is supposed to be. There are also some tonal issues which really end up hurting the movie as well. Not that this was meant to be a side-splitting comedy, but there's some real serious moments in the film that just end up feeling out of place here. And the comedy, what is there, isn't anything special. There's a couple of chuckles, of course, but nothing that's really noteworthy or anything. It's a shame too, cause this cast is full of some really talented actors. Jason Ritter is always good, Melanie Lynskey is an excellent actress, among others. So it's a shame to see them in a film that's so lifeless and so empty. It is ironic, in a sense, since the characters in the film are staying in a house in the desert, that's completely isolated and lifeless. At best, you can watch this movie and not have any real problems getting through it, like it's not something that'll make you pull your hair out. It's a perfectly fine movie, but it's not something that'll make much impression after you watch it, or even as you're watching it. It never comes together to tell a fulfilling or enjoyable narrative, it's just a collection of theme and ideas thrown together, hoping that a good cast would fill the rest of the gaps. They didn't, not because they didn't try, but because the script hampered them. So I can't really recommend this, even if you can do much worse than this.
Beatty and Fishman botch their third act payoff, but The Big Ask remains a compellingly exploratory odyssey into desperate acts of communication, with a side of sexual awkwardness.
David Krumholtz and a couple extended cameos make some of this film bearable. Either than that the characters are unrealistic and just downright unlikable.
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