A Borefest With Unlikable Characters: Our Review of ‘This Closeness’

Posted in Movies by - June 06, 2024
A Borefest With Unlikable Characters: Our Review of ‘This Closeness’

In order to be considered a good, a film generally needs to have a few things. The film could be a compelling story that draws you in. It could be interesting characters that you can’t get enough of. It could be high-octane action, full of stunts you haven’t seen before. The list can go on. Unfortunately the film This Closeness has none of them. If it accomplishes anything, it’s that it can put you to sleep by telling an uninteresting story about a few characters you will have a hard time liking.

In town for a school reunion, Ben (Zane Pais) and Tessa (Kit Zauhar) stay at an AirBNB. Owning the AirBNB is a reclusive host named Adam (Ian Edlund). The happy couple isn’t as happy as they initially seem however, And their relationship appears to be close to fracturing altogether. There’s something else that make matters worse. Tessa seems to take an interest in their oddball host in a way that Ben has a hard time understanding.

For starters, This Closeness feels more like a stage play than a film. This is partly because the entire film takes place in a small apartment. But it’s also because the actors don’t seem to have any type of screen presence. Feeling like a play doesn’t necessarily mean the film is bad, but usually that means the actors need to work harder to get you to care about their characters. Unfortunately for them however, the characters are far from relatable, or even likable.

Lizzy doesn’t have a clue what she wants to do, and sticks with her boyfriend even though he treats her poorly. Ben is so over the top mean spirited that he doesn’t seem to have any redeeming qualities. And Adam is so awkward that we can’t even pity him, although it feels like that’s the film’s intention.

Even when characters are unlikable, some movies can move beyond that by making a story we want to see. This Closeness doesn’t even have that. It’s full of disconnected scenes such as the couple dancing around in their room in their underwear for no reason. Or Adam succumbing to his jealousy and hiring what appears to be a sex worker (although he says he was on a date) to pretend he’s got some semblance of a life. Even the subplot of Tessa’s career as a rising star in the world of ASMR videos is uninteresting. It’s almost like the writer had a bunch of ideas that he drew out of a hat to try to make a movie.

Films exist to make you feel things. However, I’m pretty sure the intention here is not to feel as miserable as the characters on the screen. Film is a way to retreat from reality, not become a part of something worse. Viewers really don’t need to go on a boring weekend full of anger with someone they don’t know, which means they don’t really need to turn on this film.

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While Roderick has only been writing movie reviews for a relatively short time, he's been a fan of film for as long as he can remember. It's a love affair that started when he saw Star Wars at a drive-in theatre in Kitchener when he was four years old. In the past decade he's fulfilled his dream of interviewing celebrities, attending red carpets events at festivals such as TIFF and writing reviews for outlets such as Realstylenetwork.com. He's always on the hunt for the next big thing to hit the screen.
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