Jordan Vogt-RobertsToy’s House introduces a new level of teenage angst through a comedic look at a group of boys who decide to fix their troubles by building a house in the woods and becoming men. A fresh cast of newcomers paired with some of the best comedians makes for a truly enjoyable coming-of-age comedy with some unique twists.

The Players:

Synopsis:        

Frustrated by his single father’s lack of stability in his life, Joe Toy ventures off into the woods with his best friend and a strange acquaintance to build a house and finally have freedom over their lives.

The Good:

  • Nick Offerman: He’s one of the best straight-faced comedians working today and although he’s absolutely the funniest part about this film, he also gives an in-depth and dare I say, sweet performance that shows that he potentially has a lot more than Ron Swanson to offer the world.
  • Megan Mullally: She’s just the best at playing someone you love to hate.
  • The Comedy/Tragedy: Watching so many heart-felt tragedies at Sundance sometimes leaves you a bit bruised and in need of a quality comedic experience. This film had some very serious topics, but if dealt with them in a very off-the-cuff, fun way, allowing for it to be a fast-paced and enjoyable way to tackle some family issues.
  • New Faces: It’s hard to break into “the biz” and often times, you find teenagers who are still in the process of honing their craft, but not in this film. These boys were exciting to watch. They all owned their characters, came off as professional, and I never knew what to expect from them next. They keep your on your toes and all are impressive young talents who will likely be snatched up by more projects soon. There’s nothing better than being impressed by some up-and-comers.
  • Unbelievable/Believable: One of the biggest tricks to these kinds of films is taking an unrealistic idea and selling it to an audience as something plausible. This film has heightened characters and a crazy premise, but it was incredibly easy to swallow.

The Bad:

  • POV: This film and these characters are bursting with so much creativity, it would have been nice to see this film through a more imaginative, boyish perspective. These are young teenage boys who fix their problems by building a home in the woods with slide from the bedroom to the den. Though it was beautifully shot, it was hard, it was done so from a very grown-up, professional perspective and not a POV that supported the story.
  • Timeline: There’s a HUGE chunk of the movie where things get a little tricky to understand, because you have no idea how much time they’ve spent doing all of this. The house seems to be built in a couple of hours and it’s not until the end of the film that you understand exactly how long they’ve been away for.

Overall:

This was a genuinely fun film to watch. It had meaning and depth that came off quite effortlessly through it’s unique wit and perspective.

Rating: 8.5/10