The Extra Man premiered earlier this year at the Sundance Film Festival’s largest venue to fairly solid reviews (check out our Sundance Review). It is the story of idealists who exist just outside of the commonly accepted reality of New York City, who come together to find themselves and accept one another. It’s somewhat of a hard pitch to sell, but luckily the lead performances make it worthwhile.
Check out our full review (and our Sundance Review) for The Extra Man…
- Directors: Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini
- Writers: Robert Pulcini, Jonathan Ames and Shari Springer Berman
- Based on the Novel by: Jonathan Ames
- Cast: Kevin Kline, Paul Dano, Katie Holmes, John C. Reilly
- Cinemtography by: Terry Stacey
- Music by: Klaus Badett
- Kevin Kline: John C. Reilly jested in an interview that Kline was merely playing himself in this film. Though Kline may be an interesting person, and one who enjoys a good play and a off the cuff joke, I would say Henry Harrison is a one of a kind individual that takes the best parts of Kline and then throws them in a blender to make a hamburger. He’s nonsensical, yet oddly endearing and you’re constantly intrigued by him. Kline’s portrayal is lively, unpredictable, layered and probably one of the most enjoyable performances I’ve seen this year.
- The Real-ness: There’s a wonderful feeling in this film of “so what the crazy guy down the hall is like.” There’s something about the characters that feel very real, flaws and all, that allow you to feel invested in their story.
- The Era: You literally get lost as to what era you’re watching in this film. In some ways it’s timeless and yet it pokes fun at itself for being that way. It was a nice balance and interesting to watch.
- Some of the Writing: None of the writing in this film was bad, in fact most of it was amazing, it’s just that it didn’t seem to flow together very easily. It felt like there were too many ideas that they were trying to fully flesh out and the fact is we only really wanted to watch Henry Harrison. The lead character, though tormented was not nearly as explained nor interesting despite his “shocking” reveal. Without giving too much away, it’s great to show a man who lives an uncommon life but it didn’t really do anything to enhance to story.
- Katie Holmes: She tries to be a ditsy vegan and you’re not really supposed to side with her, so the fact that I didn’t like her wasn’t the problem but what was a problem is that I never found her either believable in the role nor interesting to watch.
- Narration: Most of the narration could have been cut out of the film and it would has made for a slightly stronger more cerebral experience.
This is not a perfect film, but Kline is so much fun to watch it’s well cheating your way into — it’s the Henry Harrison way!
The Extra Man hits theaters on July 23rd.