Life is indeed a journey filled with change, humor and drama. This concept is not an easy one to put on screen, but many filmmakers do their best to capture this idea. The latest movie to attempt this is Growing Up and Other Lies; a comedy written and directed by Danny Jacobs and Darren Grodsky. The film centers on four friends who set off on a walk throughout Manhattan. Upon watching the trailer, I was skeptic about this movie due to my ever growing conflict with modern comedies. However, by the end of the preview, I found myself curious about this independent film as it looked to be more of dramedy than it was a comedy. After watching the film in its entirety, I can only say that my curiosity about Growing Up and Other Lies did not go to waste.
The plot follows Jake, Rocks, Gunderson and Billy (Josh Lawson, Adam Brody, Wyatt Cenec and Danny Jacobs). With his art career going nowhere, Jake decides to move back to Ohio to live with his father. Before leaving New York, Jake invites his three friends to go on a full city walk so they can have a day to remember. During their journey Rocks, Gunderson and Billy hope to convince Jake not to leave New York. However things get complicated as the four deal with Jake's old girlfriend Tabitha (Amber Tamblyn), Rock's concerns of being a new father and just life in general.
The story to Growing Up is as simple as a plot can get. The film's plot throws you right into the thick of things as it begins with the four friends starting their adventure, and the journey makes up most of the plot. In a strange way, this story reminds me of a road trip movie; minus the road trip. While Growing Up's story is simple in nature, this is not to say that the plot could not be complex. The movie certainly lives to its name by establishing themes such as growing up and holding onto the past. Due to these ideas, the story had plenty of dramatic moments; which only complimented the plot's funnier scenes. Truthfully Growing Up and Other Lies has a simple and straightforward plot, but that certainly works in the movie's favor.
With the movie following just four characters, there is only so much you can expect from this factor. Yet though it may not have appeared so on paper, Growing Up and Other Lies has a strong cast. I was not sure what to think about Jake, Rocks, Gunderson and Billy when I saw the film's preview. At first glance it seemed that these four friends would just be your standard characters seen in so many comedies. However, when watching the film, I found myself very pleased with these central characters. Though they could act immature, the four turned out to be quite likable. The film gave us plenty of time to get to know each main character, and the actors' chemistry was effective as they came off as four lifelong friends. The movie did feature a supporting cast, though the characters in this area were indeed limited. Amber Tamblyn had a good performance as Tabitha, but she did not have a major impact to the overall film due to her screen time being brief. Thankfully the lack of supporting characters did not hurt the film's presentation as the four main characters made this element passable.
With a movie dealing with four friends traveling throughout a city, there really is not much to say when it comes Technics. This is not to say that the technical aspects to Growing Up and Other Lies was bad. The camerawork to the film was effective as it captured the concept of being on foot; while the music managed to capture the tone to the movie by being both uplifting and serious. Then there is Growing Up's sense of humor. Oppose to using over the top antics, the comedy to Growing Up relied on the witty dialogue as well as the back and forth nature between the four friends. When it comes down to it, Growing Up and Other Lies had fantastic direction as Danny Jacobs and Darren Grodsky constructed a movie that captured the humor of life as well as the drama.
Growing and Other Lies was a surprising dramedy to say the least. Though the film featured straightforward elements such as storytelling and cinematography, the movie shows its true strength through its concept as well as its characters. In its own way, Growing Up and Other Lies was a simplistic journey about life and change; making this film one of a kind and definitely worth a watch.