This eminently forgettable ensemble drama continues the current mini-trend of drawing film titles from old Paul Simon songs that play out full-length in the film. It worked ever so much better for “Baby Driver.”
The film begins promisingly, with swanky production design and polished work by cinematographer Stuart Dryburgh. The setting is the sort of posh but troubled Manhattan that is home base for Woody Allen’s serious movies.
The title character, preppy 20-something Tom Webb (Callum Turner, a doppelgänger for the young Richard Gere), feels ever so lonely. Mimi (Kiersey Clemons), the girlfriend he covets, keeps him locked in the friend zone. Mom (Cynthia Nixon) is rich-woman depressed, and Dad (Pierce Brosnan) is publishing-executive distant. So distant that he squires a beautiful and seductive woman out to dinner on evenings when he has used an overwhelming workload at the office to beg out of home cooking.
Before you can say “love triangle” or, “Hey, this is sort of like ‘The Graduate,’” petulant Tom begins a quiet tug of war to possess Dad’s mistress, partly to punish his father’s infidelity and partly because she’s played by the irresistible Kate Beckinsale. With Jeff Bridges added to the mix as a rather mysterious mentor, the story proceeds ever so tastefully but nowhere notably interesting.
Director Marc Webb gets unaffected performances from his cast, mostly. (Bridges plays a boozer in a way that’s too much on the bulbous red nose.) Too bad that the film whiffs it with Allan Loeb’s script, which is no more creative in generating shocking family secrets than a random soap opera.
(Opens Friday at the Glenwood Arts, Palace, Town Center.)
‘The Only Living Boy in New York’
Rated R for language and some drug material.