Dan Hedaya what is your secret.
Clutter (2013): 6 out of 10: Carol Kane plays a mother with both a hoarding problem and three children who can not seem to get on with their adult lives.
The Good: Any movie with Carol Kane and Dan Hedaya (both who are excellent by the way) is going to be worth a watch. Throw in one of my favorite reality show topics (hoarding) and you have a surefire winner. The only way they could screw this up is where the main character is a thirtysomething adult male filmmaker who can leave his mother’s apron and move on with adult life.
The Bad: No points in guessing what the main character is. Joshua Leonard isn’t awful in the role but good lord would someone please kill this trope with fire. I rarely watch “indie” films of this type and I am tired of it. I can’t imagine how regular indie movie viewer feels.
The other two siblings (Natasha Lyonne, Kathy Najimy) are also well acted in fact everyone in the film is good. But nothing really happens. I am not just talking about the overall plot or so-called character growth. I am talking about the movie as a whole. Don’t get me wrong everyone has their moment to shine. Everyone gets a little character arc to play in. There are even cute touches like a religious image appearing on the family’s garage door. It just feels like much ado about nothing. Barely employed adult children living with their mother make for depressing protagonists.
The Ugly: There is a family dinner in the middle of the film where we are supposed to root for Mama Kane and her adult children. The movie wears its heart on its sleeve. But our protagonists are awful people with no class who are rude to their hosts. Their lifestyle choices and “quirks” are more grounded in narcissism than some self-righteous self-actualization. Am I really that wrong to be rooting for the bad guys here?
In Conclusion: Dan Hedaya what is your secret. You look better than you did in the eighties. I overall enjoyed the film though I wouldn’t rush out to recommend it. The three adult children remind me of the three adult children from the series Transparent. They are not nearly as horrible as those children mind you but they still left me that non-flying the nest millennial PTSD these films seem to generate in me.