"What the Fuck, Ted? You're Being Really Fucking Insensitive Right Now!"
Wait, this is a comedy about suicide? Oh great.
It’s hard for me to describe why this film doesn’t work. At a basic level, the writing is often poor; David Flebotte wrote a screenplay that’s filled with equal parts cliché and unthinkably strange imagery. The premise itself, that of a man revisiting his town to avenge his childhood wrongs before killing himself, is hard to work with in the first place, but it is made even more awkward and cringe-inducing by his attempts to be funny. This film features a mother who pretends to be a “sleep-masturbator” to get back at her sexist douche of a husband, the main character’s closeted nephew who works out his self-denial by beating up gay kids at his school and drawing erotic pictures of fruit bowls filled with penises, the main character’s ex-bully who enlists him to murder his father for making fun of his son (who has down’s syndrome), and the mandatory love interest, upon learning about the main character’s suicidal quest insists that she tape the whole thing for posterity. All of this seems like it might make some people chuckle on paper, but in practice it comes off as mean-spirited and crass at worst, and pointlessly strange at best. And layered over the top of the entire mess is this lazy, ham-fisted “it gets better” message that I can only accurately call “patronizing”.
I don’t know much about Flebotte. I gather from his IMDB page that he’s been in the business as a television writer for a very long time, and his intention to make this film both funny and heartwarming seems genuine. But it just doesn’t work, and it doesn’t work because it lacks verisimilitude; it does not convincingly tell a story that seems true. Coupled with Cox’s cheery and light-hearted direction, it feels like a movie made by a person who has never spoken to a depressed person in their lives—which is probably not true, because as stated above, Flebotte has been working in television for years. Like the film’s main character, it is empty inside, and what’s worse, it misunderstands the ethos of every character it attempts to portray as sympathetic.
I’ll probably forget about this film in a couple months anyway, so there you go. But for now I’m confused and irritated, wondering why I didn’t suck it up and see “Age of Adeline” instead.
Crappy whiskey. Neat.
-Drink whenever someone talks about death or suicide.
-Drink whenever Lucky says something awful.
-Drink for overworked metaphors. Such as a gem like "Memories are like magpies. They pick out all the shiney shit and leave what's really important."
-Drink for pre-recorded footage
-Drink whenever someone swears. Drink twice if that swear word is "cunt".
This review was written by Hollis Beck (Krissy Pappau). "Just Before I Go" is produced by New Artists Alliance and Coquette Productions, and distributed by Anchor Bay Entertainment. The film is rated "R" with a run time of 95 minutes.