Why Stop Now? (2012)
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Critic Reviews for Why Stop Now?
First-time directors Phil Dorling and Ron Nyswaner can't find a coherent emotional tone, and the actors' energetic contortions can't keep the sinking story afloat.
Drug abuse stories are to Hollywood what babies are to mothers: fascinating to the talkers, not so interesting for their audiences.
Feels trapped in the limbo between comedy and drama where many indies gamely venture, but from which few emerge with any resonance.
As "Why Stop Now?" gathers momentum, the increasingly uneasy sensation it produces is not unlike that of being in the back seat of a speeding car whose drunken driver refuses to give up the wheel.
Why Stop Now refuses to keep faith with its characters, to carry them as far as they can go without tying them up in a neat bow of redemption.
Audience Reviews for Why Stop Now?
You must excuse Eli(Jesse Eisenberg) for being late to his audition. You see he has had a tough last 24 hours that began with him getting drunk at a jock party he crashed the night before. The following morning he gives a ride to his mother(Melissa Leo) to a rehab clinic. Except in a bit of logic that would make Joseph Heller smile, they will not take her because she currently tests clean for drugs. So, Eli has to get drugs from local drug dealers Sprinkles(Tracy Morgan) and Black(Isiah Whitlock Jr.). And before he knows it, Eli is their new translator. "Why Stop Now" has certain things going for it like a neat cast(Sarah Ramos proving that 'Parenthood' was no fluke) and a tried and true comedy premise that should work. Except it really does not. Apparently, there is only so much mileage one can get out of putting Jesse Eisenberg into jeopardy. Along those same lines, it is the kind of situation that the television series 'Mom' succeeds at every week. In other words, it is always a good idea to rely on professionals for writing and directing your comedy needs, else you could just end up with a whole bunch of random bits(like the reenactors) and a resolution that is more than a little preachy.
A funny thing happened on the way to rehab. Decent Movie! It's really a movie that is mostly being carried by its characters and the actors who are portraying them. It might seem like an odd choice for Oscar nominated and winning actors such as Jesse Eisenberg and Melissa Leo to be in this little film but I can definitely see why they wanted to be in it. It's simply being a true actor's movie, in which they are truly able to shine, without having the pressure of a big budget and high expectations and Hollywood producers constantly breathing down their necks. The movie overall is nothing special but it is entertaining and if you are looking for a mindless movie to put in and enjoy then this is a decent choice. The story of Eli Smith (Jesse Eisenberg), a piano prodigy, dealing with his troubled mother, Penny (Melissa Leo), and enlisting help from a hapless drug dealer, Sprinkles (Tracy Morgan), on the day he has an audition for a prestigious music program. Events spiral comically out of control as this gang of misfits faces the mistakes of the past, the challenges of the future, and the possibilities of love.
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