Friday, February 05, 2016

Movie Review - People Places Things

People Places Things (2015)
Starring Jemaine Clement, Regina Hall, Stephanie Allynne, Jessica Williams, Michael Chernus, Gia Gadsby, and Andrea Gadsby 
Directed by Jim Strouse
***This film is currently streaming on Netflix***

Simple, yet charming, People Places Things tells the story of graphic artist Will Henry (Jemaine Clement) whose longtime girlfriend Charlie (Stephanie Allynne) reveals that she is leaving him on their twin daughters' fifth birthday.  Will spends a year focusing on teaching and when one of his students (Jessica Williams) sets him up with her English professor mother Diane (Regina Hall), Will begins to realize that there may be life for him outside of Charlie.

While I recognize that Jemaine Clement's dryly humorous personality may not be for everyone, I was a big fan of his short-lived comedy series Flight of the Conchords and Clement's tone is very similar in director-writer James Strouse's film.  Clement exudes a lackadaisical, yet caring nature and he brings a heartfelt (and sometimes heartbroken) drollness to the film that many actors may find difficult to convey.  Regina Hall provides a nice counterpoint, playing a very intelligent woman who wants her college age daughter to realize her mother can be strongly independent, yet also wants to find that special someone with whom to share her life.

No one will ever mistake People Places Things for being incredibly deep, but it brings a believably humorous treatment to a somewhat hefty life situation.  Clement and the cast do a great job of carrying both the comedic and dramatic moments of the film.  Sometimes these low-budget indie comedies can seem too "edgy" or "hip" for their own good.  That's not the case here in the slightest -- if anything, Clement's character is a bit of an anti-hipster (despite being a comic book artist).  I appreciated this tone that writer Strouse brings and I'm definitely interested in seeing his work in the future.

The RyMickey Rating:  B


  1. This is in my Netflix queue--I've just been circling around/past it. Encouraged by your review to maybe get on that. Have you seen What We Do In The Shadows, yet? It's worth seeking out.

  2. I haven't seen What We Do in the Shadows -- on my list, though, for sure. People Places Things is solid, for sure. An amusing lighthearted throwaway, essentially, but the performances make it feel as if it has a little more importance.