DirectorWilliam H. Macy
Release Date(s)2017 (July 10, 2018)
Studio(s)Dorian Media/Great Point Media/Paladin (Lionsgate)
- Film/Program Grade: C
- Video Grade: A
- Audio Grade: A
- Extras Grade: N/A
Krystal is a film that has a serious case of schizophrenia. It wants to be too many things, going in numerous directions while trying to be a sort of coming-of-age film. Directed by William H. Macy, better known for his acting in Fargo and TV’s Shameless, the movie focuses on 18-year-old Taylor Ogburn (Nick Robinson, Love, Simon) who has a heart condition that emerged as a child after looking through a girlie magazine. Taylor’s heartbeat accelerates in times of extreme stress and he often passes out.
While walking on the beach, he sees Krystal (Rosario Dawson) and is so excited by her beauty that he conks out. She rushes him to the hospital, where he recovers and learns that Krystal is a former stripper, alcoholic and addict. He’s so infatuated with her, he joins her AA group just to be near her. But Taylor doesn’t realize that Krystal has a life filled with people he just may not be able to handle, though he fancies himself an “old soul.”
The movie features a slew of characters that are supposed to be colorful, but come off as either stereotypes or plot conveniences. Taylor’s parents both pride themselves on being artists. Dad (Macy) is a writer, Mom (Felicity Huffman) is a poet, and older brother Campbell (Grant Gustin) is a painter. Taylor takes on the persona of an older, hipper fellow partly to formulate his own artistic creation, partly to woo and win Krystal.
The comedy is derailed by too many sub-plots: Krystal has a violent former boyfriend who wants to get back into her life; Krystal falls back into former bad habits; Taylor befriends a person close to Krystal; his family reveals the causes for its deep-seated dysfunction; a doctor is incorporated for comic relief; and Taylor’s boss (Kathy Bates) at the art gallery where he works reveals her own personal nightmare. It’s too much stuffed into a single film, and the disparate pieces never come blend cohesively. It’s like watching snippets of different movies spliced together.
Robinson, with a light southern accent and a charming personality, is effective, but he can only do so much given Will Aldis’ flawed script. Macy, Huffman, and Bates, all pros who’ve proven their abilities in better films, have little to do other than to add their familiar faces to the mix.
There are no bonus features on the R-rated widescreen DVD release.
- Dennis Seuling